Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2007
Publication Date: 7/25/2007
Citation: Karlen, D.L., Johnson, J.M., Wilhelm, W.W., Follett, R.F. 2007. Balancing crop biomass for bioenergy and conservation [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society, p. 64.
Technical Abstract: Soil and water conservation benefits must be included in biomass assessments to prevent long-term environmental damage as the nation addresses short-term energy problems. Therefore, to develop an environmentally and economically sound bioenergy economy, the tradeoff between managing crop residues to protect soil from erosion and to sustain soil organic carbon/matter (SOC/SOM) and building a biomass economy must be assessed carefully. The objectives of our Renewable Energy Assessment Project (REAP) are to determine the amount of residue needed to protect the soil resource; to estimate the economic implications based on the value of stover for bio-energy versus a soil C source; and to provide initial harvest rate recommendations and guidelines. Products from this multi-location research project will be 1) guidelines for management practices supporting sustainable harvest of crop residue, 2) algorithm(s) estimating the amount of crop residue that can be sustainably harvested, and 3) decision support tools and guidelines describing the economic trade-off between residue harvest and retention to sequester soil C. Delivery of this knowledge and these products to farmers and the biomass ethanol industry will promote harvest of stover and crop residues in a manner that preserves the capacity of our soil to produce food, feed, fiber, and fuel.