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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #260064

Title: A landscape vision for integrating industrial crops into biofuel systems

item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/22/2010
Publication Date: 9/22/2010
Citation: Karlen, D.L. 2010. A landscape vision for integrating industrial crops into biofuel systems. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Achieving energy independence and security through domestic production of renewable biofuels is feasible but will require a different landscape than we have with current agricultural practices. Integrating industrial crops such as Canola, Camelina, or Cuphea could offer many opportunities to enhance multiple ecosystem services. To do so, we must first address multiple challenges as an integrated system rather than as a collection of individual problems. This presentation provides a vision and suggested approach for integrating new crops into more diverse and productive landscapes. The vision is based upon on-going research that has evolved from site-specific agricultural management activities. A strategy for identifying the most limiting factors, matching critical resource needs with appropriate conservation practices, and scaling the concept to a production scale is discussed. The importance of evaluating all ecosystem services before and after incorporation of the industrial crops will be discussed as the vision is illustrated using a hypothetical landscape plan. The presentation concludes by examining some of the barriers that must be overcome to implement a landscape vision for sustainable bioenergy production on America’s working lands.