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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308867

Research Project: Enhancing Cropping System Sustainability Through New Crops and Management Strategies

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Agronomic comparison of several brassica species in the U.S. Corn Belt as feedstock for hydrotreated jet fuel

Author
item Gesch, Russell - Russ
item Allen, Brett
item Archer, David
item Banuelos, Gary
item Behrman, Kathrine
item BROWN, J - University Of Idaho
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Kiniry, James
item Long, Daniel
item Vigil, Merle

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/2014
Publication Date: 9/19/2014
Citation: Gesch, R.W., Allen, B.L., Archer, D.W., Banuelos, G.S., Behrman, K.D., Brown, J., Hatfield, J.L., Jabro, J.D., Kiniry, J.R., Long, D.S., Vigil, M.F. 2014. Agronomic comparison of several brassica species in the U.S. Corn Belt as feedstock for hydrotreated jet fuel [abstract]. In: Miller, T., Alexopoulou, E. and Berti, M.T., editors. International Conference in Industrial Crops and 26th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC). Program and Abstracts. September 13-19, 2014, Athens, Greece.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Through a patented process developed in the U.S., hydrotreated renewable jet fuel (HRJ) derived from plant oils has been commercially demonstrated. However, full-scale production has not yet come to fruition because HRJ is not economically competitive with petroleum-based fuels due to high feedstock cost. Identifying suitable feedstock while developing crops attractive to farmers will be key to producing affordable HRJ and creating a dependable alternative fuel supply. Several oilseed species in the Brassicaceae family have shown potential for HRJ feedstock, but selecting genotypes agronomically and economically best suited for a given region will likely differ with environment and current cropping systems. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate and compare agronomic characteristics of 18 Brassica genotypes (6 winter and 12 spring types) representing six different species (Brassica napus, B. rapa, B. juncea, B. carinata, Sinapis alba, and Camelina sativa) and identify environmental factors most influencing their growth and oil production. Results presented are from a study conducted in west central Minnesota, U.S. in 2013 on a Barnes loam soil using a randomized complete block design. This is part of a larger project focused on evaluating the same set of oilseeds across nine locations spanning several different ecoregions in the U.S. Despite late emergence due to drought, camelina (cv. Joelle) was the only autumn-sown winter type in the study that survived the harsh Minnesota winter. It formed good stands and yielded about 1,000 kg ha-1 of seed. The range of seed yield for the 12 spring-sown crops was from 1,000 to 3,700 kg ha-1 with a range in oil yield of 348 to 1,909 L ha-1. Plant lodging was a serious issue that may have affected yields and it varied widely among genotypes. Cultivars of B. napus and B. carinata produced the greatest seed and oil yields, although B. carinata was the latest maturing species in the study and had one of the lowest harvest indices. Only minor incidences of pest damage arose during the study and this was confined to certain species and cultivars. For any given ecoregion, striking a balance among crop yield, agricultural input cost, and the best choice of species and cultivar for a particular cropping system will be important for providing a reliable and affordable feedstock for HRJ.