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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #88618

Title: HARVEST MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF ERIANTHUS PLANT MORPHOLOGICAL COMPONENTS

Author
item MISLEVY, P
item MARTIN, F
item ADJEI, M
item Miller, Jimmy

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/17/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Plant biomass can be produced under tropical and subtropical conditions and converted to a variety of fuels through bioconversion methods. However, biomass production and plant quality may differ between plant species and morphological components of plants. The objectives of these two experiments were to: (1) determine the influence of plant height at harvest on Erianthus arundinaceum (Retz) Jesw-IK 76-110 dry biomass (DB) yield; and (2) monitor changes in quality of plant components with increased plant height. The first experiment was set up to determine harvest dates to obtain optimum biomass yields. The second was conducted to monitor changes in plant components at 0.6 m plant height intervals. Experiment (1) determined the influence of plant height when harvested at 1.2, 2.5 and 3.7 m. mature stage in October (4.9 m), mature stage in December (4.9 m, plus inflorescence). Highest dry matter yields (51.5 Mg/ha) were obtained at the highest rates of N fertilizer (326 kg/ha/year). When plants were repeatedly harvested at 1.2 m height, the stands of IK 76-110 died out while at a yearly harvest interval dry matter yields increased each year the experiment was harvested. Knowing the quantity and quality of plant components at various physiological stages can be important to biomass producers, who need to make field decisions regarding biomass feedstock that should be utilized immediately after a freeze of stockpiled for later use.

Technical Abstract: Lignocellulose materials can be readily produced under tropical and subtropical conditions and converted to a variety of fuels through bioconversion. However, biomass production and plant quality may differ between plant species. Objectives of the two experiments were to: (1) determine the influence of plant height at harvest on Erianthus arundinaceum (Retz) Jesw-IK 76-110 dry biomass yield; and (2) monitor changes in quality of plant components with increased plant height. Experiment (1) determined the influence of plant height when harvested at 1.2, 2.5, 3.7 m., and mature stages in October (4.9 m), and in December (4.9 m). Experiment (2) monitored changes in quantity and crude protein and in vitro organic matter digestion (estimate of soluble cell solids) of green leaf, dead leaf and stem plant components, leaf area index and tiller number at 0.6 m plant height increments to a final height of 4.3 m during 1987 and 1988. Treatments from both experiments received 336 kg N per ha/year in single or split applications and the best ones produced 51.5 Mg/ha dry biomass. Plants repeatedly harvested at the 1.2 m height died out while those harvested as mature plants increased in yield eacy year. Leaf area index increased to a maximum of 17 at the 3.1 m plant height treatment. Knowing the quantity and quality of plant components can be important to biomass producers, who need to make logical field decisions regarding utilization of biomass.