Location: Southeast Watershed Research2011 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. To develop low-input production methods for napiergrass, energycane, forage sorghum and sweet sorghum. 2. To develop efficient and economical harvesting, field drying, densification and storage methods for the studied crops. 3. To measure carbon sequestration in the soil and plant, soil carbon dynamics, nitrogen cycling including mineralization and N-fixation by legumes and emission of nitrous oxide from different cropping systems. 4. To develop comprehensive life cycle assessment models to quantify the economic and environmental value of the production systems.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Tifton-ARS scientists will contribute expertise in the area of perennial grass production, soil physical properties and greenhouse gas emission data collection. We supply research plots for field evaluations. Specifically, we will: Supply plant seed stock of energy cane and napiergrass to up to three experimental field sites. Contribute labor in data collection, harvest, as well as laboratory evaluations of soil and plant material. Assist in data analysis and publication of results. Collection of greenhouse gas samples.
3. Progress Report
This project relates to objective 2 of the inhouse project: Modify, test, and apply the Riparian Ecosystem Management Model (REMM) to evaluate and guide restoration and management of riparian buffers and wetlands. USDA scientists met with project leader at Ft. Valley State University, to finalize detailed plans for the project. Perennial biomass crops were established at both Tifton and Ft. Valley sites. Dried, ground plant samples from 2010 perennial grass trials were sent to Co-principal investigator for preliminary conversion analyses. Soil samples for characterization of soil physical properties before conversion to perennial crops were collected at both sites. Sampling of static chambers to estimate greenhouse gas fluxes was initiated at both sites.