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:
This project is in its penultimate year, after several years of collaborative effort. Each of the sites in the SunGrant cooperative has produced locally-adapted biomass crops annually and provided data to the common data repository hosted by Department of Energy (DOE). The ARS scientist in Urbana, Illinois, has investigated the potential for herbaceous perennial biofeedstocks to escape cultivation and become invasive. Management implications from the results have been used to help draft guidelines for the safe production of bioenergy crops.