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 research relates to inhouse objective: Increase soil organic matter contents to improve soil physical/chemical properties in highly-weathered sandy Coastal Plain soils using cover crops, biochar, and green manures. The project focuses on plant residue bioenergy production while maintaining soil fertility. Soil and plant samples from 2008 and 2009 have been analyzed and data uploaded to central files maintained by US-DOE at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL). Field plots for 2010 have been planted and soil samples collected. Data will help determine how much residue can be removed from soil before production is affected and what the quality of the residue will be for bio-energy production. Project monitoring includes telephone calls and e-mails.