1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine effects of crop residue removal on soil quality, crop yields, and residue feedstock quality.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
On-going studies at the USDA-ARS-CPRC and at the Clemson University, Pee Dee Research and Education Center (PDREC) will be enhanced by providing additional analyses for improving soil quality, enhancing crop yields, and assessing the suitability of crop residues as feedstocks for thermal chemical conversion. More information will be gathered on residue removal influences on profile soil physico-chemical properties, changes in crop yield and grain quality, and ascertaining residue quality as a feedstock for thermal chemical conversion. This study will complement the ARS Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) team efforts with similar resources at eight participating ARS locations. Equal resources per the SunGrant program are available to university partners (i.e., PDREC) to strengthen the research, provide additional agronomic expertise, and improve technology transfer products and relationships with customers.
3. Progress Report
This project is related to inhouse objective 1: Develop specifically designed biochar or biochar mixtures that amend sandy SE coastal soils to increase aggregation, improve nutrient retention, sequester organic carbon, improve microbial characteristics, and decrease overall soil strength. The project focuses on plant residue removal for bioenergy production while maintaining soil fertility. Soil and plant samples from the past 3 years have been analyzed and data uploaded to central files maintained by US-Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Labs. Field plots for 2011 have been planted and soil samples collected. Data will help determine how much residue can be removed from soil before quality of soil decreases. It will also help determine the quality and quantity of the residue harvested as feedstocks for bio-energy production. Progress was monitored by an annual meeting in Ames, Iowa, email among members, and phone calls.