Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/2008
Publication Date: 8/22/2008
Citation: Singer, J.W., Laird, D.A., Cambardella, C.A., Karlen, D.L., Moore, K.J., Lamkey, K.R., Hatfield, J.L. 2008. Sustainable corn-based bioenergy farming systems. AGRO Division [abstract]. American Chemical Society National Meeting. No. 162.
Technical Abstract: Harvesting biomass from agricultural fields can decrease soil productivity if nutrients are not replaced and if biomass removal exceeds the C replacement value needed to maintain soil organic matter. Innovative farming systems that recycle nutrients and add C to soil may increase soil quality and thereby increase the quantity of biomass that can be sustainably removed. This presentation focuses on two potential components of such systems. Perennial groundcovers or living mulches growing concurrently with corn increase soil C inputs and provide other conservation functions. The use of biochar, a coproduct from fast pyrolysis of biomass, as a soil amendment will add a highly stable form of C to soils and is hypothesized to increase bioavailable soil water and enhance nutrient cycling. Preliminary results from and descriptions of research projects that are focused on developing sustainable farming systems for supplying bioenergy feedstock will be discussed.