Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding ResearchTitle: Bioenergy grass feedstock production in the southern Coastal Plain
Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: not required
Technical Abstract: The Renewable Fuels Standard within the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)(Pub L.) requires that by the year 2022, 36 billion gallons of biofuels be added to gasoline and that 21 billion gallons would come from non-cornstarch products such as sugar or cellulosic feedstock. The Southeast has been identified as a potential major contributor to the production of renewable fuels in the United States due to high net primary productivity (NPP), mainly attributed to long growing seasons, normally high rainfall, and tremendous forest and cropland resources. USDA-ARS research on biofuels in the Southeast has concentrated on assessing perennial and annual grasses for biomass. These include tropical/subtropical energy cane, and elephantgrass, switchgrass and Miscanthus sp within pasture, agroforestry and forest-based systems. Annuals include biomass and sweet sorghum in rotation with existing row crops. Switchgrass and Miscanthus sp have the production and cold tolerance for northern areas of the Southeast while energy cane and napiergrass have shown the greatest potential for the sub-tropically plant adaptation zones. Research is being conducted on rotational annual cropping systems of bioenergy crops with traditional row crops and winter nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Crop production experiments are also being performed on perennial grasses to determine optimal production with minimum input.