Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research
Project Number: 6048-21000-030-014-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Sep 30, 2023
The objective of this work is to optimize the yields (for production of usable sugars for conversion to ethanol) of a perennial grass biomass crop (Pennisetum sp.) while minimizing inputs via use of nitrogen fixing cover plants or other production practices. ARS would gain knowledge which would then be published. The cooperator would gain knowledge for production of feedstock that would be available to growers near their facility to supply required feedstock for production of sugars and ultimately ethanol and other products such as renewable jet fuel.
The cooperator has land with plant material already growing. ARS would supply a means to harvest the biomass. Within the area of perennial Pennisetum, experimental plots will be developed. The experimental units will be a combination of harvest intervals, and use of N-fixing legumes or other fertilizer treatments. The plots will be replicated. ARS would harvest biomass material and plant other annual N-fixing plants and apply fertilizer as needed. The cooperator will supply the land and facilities for harvested material to be maintained for testing of conversion. The cooperator will also incur the cost of transporting the ARS biomass harvester.