Location: Grain, Forage, and Bioenergy Research2013 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The principal objective of the project is to develop and enhance cooperative bioenergy research between USDA-ARS lead projects conducting bioenergy research on switchgrass, Sorghum, energy cane, Miscanthus, and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land with SunGrant University scientists conducting research on the same species at different locations.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS scientists involved in bioenergy research on switchgrass, Sorghum, energy cane, Miscanthus, and CRP lands will attend SunGrant planning and reporting meetings and interact with scientist receiving SunGrant funds for bioenergy feedstock research, provide ARS bioenergy research accomplishment reports, reports on current research, and develop potential areas of cooperative and collaborative research where feasible. Except for initial preliminary planning sessions, ARS scientist involvement in SunGrant research has been limited because of SunGrant program imposed funding restrictions, even though ARS scientists are conducting leading research in the major energy crops.
3. Progress Report:
Specific progress summaries are given for each of the five bioenergy feedstocks in the project. Switchgrass: ARS-Lincoln has analyzed and summarized the composition of 168 switchgrass samples collected from field sites in Iowa, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Virginia as part of the regional feedstock trials. An additional set of a similar number of samples are yet to be characterized. ARS-Lincoln will analyze and predict potential ethanol yield and about 20 other feedstock characteristics using NIRS. Based on wet lab costs, the analysis of about 350 samples will provide greater than $100,000 of value to the project. Sorghum: The ARS sorghum team leader harvested biomass in 2012 and forwarded the data to the Sun Grant feedstock team leader as part of the sorghum evaluation trial. These data were presented at the Sun Grant Meeting in Tunica, MS. The site in Eastern NE had a severe drought in 2012 and required the application of 4.5” of irrigation. All Sun Grant resources for this sub-award have been expended. Energy cane: The ARS energy cane team has participated in the regional energy cane trials since the beginning and continued to participate in 2012. Data from the 2012 field season were presented at the Sun Grant Meeting in Tunica, MS. Investigations continue on yield, persistence, management inputs, fiber concentration and sugar content at the DOE-funded locations, with basic agronomic data being collected at non-funded sites. All Sun Grant resources for this sub-award have been expended. Miscanthus: The ARS Miscanthus team has completed investigations on Miscanthus as part of this grant. Two refereed journal articles were published from this Sun Grant research. A summary of these articles was presented at the Sun Grant Meeting in Tunica, MS. Sun Grant resources were invested in meeting travel and research activities. All Sun Grant resources for this sub-award have been expended and Sun Grant research is complete. Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands: The CRP field research is completed. A summary of the current research information was presented at the Sun Grant Meeting in Tunica, MS. Grower data is being summarized to complete the Sun Grant Research. All Sun Grant resources for this sub-award have been expended. ARS scientists on the project monitored and coordinated the research and interacted with other scientists on the Sun Grant project by attendance at Sun Grant meetings in New Orleans, LA and Tunica, MS. At these meetings ARS scientists shared information and developed potential areas of cooperative research with other scientists. Additionally, the Lead ARS scientist attended a Sun Grant Switchgrass Expert Meeting on 28-31 May, 2013 at Oregon State University to work on a national switchgrass yield map. The ARS Lead Scientist monitored project activities through emails, written progress updates, PowerPoint slides, phone conversations, and face-to-face meetings.