Location: Sugarcane Field StationTitle: Strategies Needed to Maximize Industry Support for Breeding of Energy Cane as a Biomass Feedstock for Coal and other Co-Products
Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: Research and advanced breeding have demonstrated that energy cane possesses all of the attributes desirable in a biofuel feedstock: extremely good biomass yield in a small farming footprint; negative/neutral carbon footprint; maximum outputs from minimum inputs; well-established growing model for farming; and it is bred for cultivation on marginal soils, avoiding competition with croplands dedicated to food commodities. The USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station at Canal Point (CP) is the premiere sugarcane breeding station in the United States. As demand for lignocellulosic sources increases, CP will become a major source of energy cane cultivars in this country. Strategic matings incorporating a wide range of germplasm, rigid disease screening protocols, and well-designed field trials have led to rapid improvement in CP clone cultivars; with several clones exceeding yield rates of 220 tons per hectare. One of the missions of the CP energy cane program is to create high yielding biomass clones which can resist abiotic stresses, and carry the robust disease tolerances typically found in our breeding programs. Since the last conference, a few collaborations have been initiated as well as remote trialing. Maximum potential of this feedstock will only be realized as others interested in putative co-products also see the value of the continued breeding efforts of energy cane. It is the goal of CP to identify and collaborate with industry and academic sources across the country to augment the facilitation of trialing and identification of geo-specific clones, identify desired co-products, and compile a portfolio of germplasm tailored for diverse growing areas.