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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research » Research » Research Project #435967

Research Project: Next-Generation Feedstocks for the Emerging Bioeconomy

Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

Project Number: 3042-21000-034-007-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2018
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

Objective:
The objective of this 5-year project is to provide farm-scale data on the biomass productivity of advanced switchgrass cultivars (‘Liberty’ and ‘Independence’) across geographic locations.

Approach:
Data from four field-scale trials in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois will be assessed with machine learning techniques to determine the relative performance and composition of new switchgrass cultivars compared to traditional switchgrass and corn on land that is marginally-productive for commodity crops. Additionally, small-plot trials will be established near the field-scale trials to compare advanced lines of switchgrass, Miscanthus, prairie cordgrass, and big bluestem that are unavailable commercially. These small-plot trials will provide site-specific data for modeling future biomass production using next-generation cultivars. Research will include application of precision agriculture tools and sensing to assess yield, feedstock composition and logistics, soil quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and water quality and quantity impacts; use high-performance computing to provide a range of optimized yield/marginality tradeoffs; and generate geospatially resolved technoeconomic analyses to quantify opportunities to meet BETO’s cost goal of less than $3/gge. Lincoln ARS Co-PI will conduct field-scale trials and small plot trials and will link with the modeling portions of the project to conduct analyses of feedstock supply.