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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Research Project #437685

Research Project: Sustainable Herbaceous Energy Crop Production in the Southeast United States

Location: Sugarcane Research

Project Number: 6052-21000-018-001-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2019
End Date: Mar 1, 2024

This proposal develops a comprehensive assessment of the biomass productivity, economic viability and environment sustainability of advanced energycane and biomass sorghum genotypes in the southeast United States. The proposed research will build on the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership program, address the impact of opportunities outlined in the 2016 Billion Ton Report, and fill the knowledge gaps on economic viability and environment sustainability. The overall goal of the proposed research is to optimize sustainable biomass supply from energycane and biomass sorghum over the diverse edaphic and climatic environments in the southeast United States. The specific objectives are: 1. Characterize the growth and biomass dynamics of energy crops in multiple edaphic and climatic environments. 2. Quantify the impact of energy crop production on environmental sustainability in agricultural and marginal lands. 3. Develop site-specific best management practices (BMPs) on biomass production, harvesting and storage. Outcomes from the proposed project will support DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s main strategic goal of reducing the price of biofuels to less than $3/gasoline gallon equivalent, reducing the cost of feedstock delivered to the conversion reactor throat to less than $84/dry ton, and increasing the availability and affordability of biomass derived transportation fuels and bioproducts.

A multi-site test will be established across six locations in five states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida) with a common set of sorghum and Saccharum genotypes to determine the genotype by enviroment effects on yield production and to establish best management practices for each location. Assessments will be made to process samples to determine structural composition, soil quality, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, water quality, and species diversity for economic and life cycle analses and to produce yield forcasting maps for a wide range of phenotypic traits.