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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a highly productive perennial grass, has been recommended as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Previous studies indicate that planting perennial grasses (e.g., switchgrass) in high topographic relief cropland waterway buffers can improve local environmental conditions and sustainability. The main advantages of this land management practice include (1) reducing soil erosion and improving water quality because switchgrass requires less tillage, fertilizers, and pesticides; and (2) improving regional ecosystem services (e.g., improving water infiltration, minimizing drought and flood impacts on production, and serving as carbon sinks). In this study, we mapped...
Seasonal time of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) harvest affects yield and biofuel quality and balancing these two components may vary depending on conversion system. A field study compared fall and spring harvest measuring biomass yield, element concentration, carbohydrate characterization, and total synthetic gas production as indicators of biofuel quality for direct combustion, ethanol production, and gasification systems for generation of energy. Switchgrass yields decreased almost 40% (from about 7-4.4 Mg ha(-1)) in winters with above average snowfall when harvest was delayed over winter until spring. The moisture concentration also decreased (from about 35070 g kg(-1)) only reaching low enough levels for...
The first part of this paper presented an ab initio exposition of the development-focused end-useoriented service-directed (DEFENDUS) approach to energy planning. In this approach, the future demand for any source of energy is estimated on the basis of the energy services required and the efficiency with which these are provided. To meet this demand, the costs per unit of the available energy-supply/saving technologies are estimated and a least-cost mix of options identified. In this second part, some of the energy studies for which the DEFENDUS method has been used are described to demonstrate that its applicability is not confined to a particular region or source of energy. These studies include: electricity for...
On the Westside of California's San Joaquin Valley, the discharge of subsurface agricultural drainage water (DW) is subject to strict environmental regulations due to its high selenium (Se) content and potential risks to wildlife. Re-use of sahne-sodic DW to irrigate salt-tolerant forage crops is attractive because it reduces the volume of DW requiring disposal and the land area affected by salinity, while producing forages to satisfy the large demand for animal feed resulting from rapid expansions in dairy and beef cattle operations in this area. The biomass production and nutritional quality of six forages ('Jose' tall wheatgrass, creeping wildrye, alkali sacaton, 'Alta' tall fescue, puccinellia and 'Salado/801S'...
A survey of Tennessee farmers was conducted to analyze their willingness to supply switchgrass to an emerging energy market. The majority of respondents had not heard of growing switchgrass for energy production and roughly half were unsure as to whether they would be willing to grow switchgrass. For those with an opinion about whether they would grow switchgrass, a two limit Tobit model was used to ascertain the effects of various farm and producer characteristics on the share of farmland they would be willing to convert. Higher net farm income per hectare had a negative influence on share, reflecting the opportunity cost of converting land. Younger farmers with higher levels of educational attainment and off-farm...
Corn stover as well as perennial grasses like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and miscanthus are being considered as candidates for the second generation biofuel feedstocks. However, the challenges to biofuel development are its effects on the environment, especially water quality. This study evaluates the long-term impacts of biofuel production alternatives (e.g., elevated corn stover removal rates and the potential land cover change) on an ecosystem with a focus on biomass production, soil erosion, water quantity and quality, and soil nitrate nitrogen concentration at the watershed scale. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was modified for setting land cover change scenarios and applied to the Iowa River...
A survey of Tennessee farmers was conducted to analyze their willingness to supply switchgrass to an emerging energy market. The majority of respondents had not heard of growing switchgrass for energy production and roughly half were unsure as to whether they would be willing to grow switchgrass. For those with an opinion about whether they would grow switchgrass, a two limit Tobit model was used to ascertain the effects of various farm and producer characteristics on the share of farmland they would be willing to convert. Higher net farm income per hectare had a negative influence on share, reflecting the opportunity cost of converting land. Younger farmers with higher levels of educational attainment and off-farm...
If, as many climate change analysts speculate, industrial and other emissions of CO2 can be offset by substitution of biofuels, large areas of land, including agricultural land, may be converted to the production of biomass feedstocks. This paper explores the feasibility for the Missouri–Iowa–Nebraska–Kansas (MINK) region of the US of converting some agricultural land to the production of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a perennial warm season grass, as a biomass energy crop. The erosion productivity impact calculator (EPIC) crop growth model simulated production of corn (Zea mays L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench), soybean (Glycine max L.), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and switchgrass at 302 sites...
Soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN) contents play a crucial role in sustaining agricultural production systems. Short-term (≤10-year) management effects on SOC and TN dynamics are often complex and variable. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate short-term tillage and cropping system effects on SOC and TN within the 0–30 cm soil depth across Iowa. The first experiment with no-tillage and chisel plowing treatments was established in 1994 on Clarion-Nicollet-Webster (CNW), Galva-Primghar-Sac (GPS), Kenyon-Floyd-Clyde (KFC), Marshall (M), and Otley-Mahaska-Taintor (OMT) soil associations under a corn (Zea mays L.)–soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) rotation. The second experiment with no-tillage, strip-tillage,...
The combustion of perennial grass biomass to generate electricity may be a promising renewable energy option. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) grown as a biofuel has the potential to provide a cash crop for farmers and quality nesting cover for grassland birds. In southwestern Wisconsin (near lat. 42 degrees 52', long. 90 degrees 08'), we investigated the impact of an August harvest of switchgrass for bioenergy on community composition and abundance of Wisconsin grassland bird species of management concern. Harvesting the switchgrass in August resulted in changes in vegetation structure and bird species composition the following nesting season. In harvested transects, residual vegetation was shorter and the litter...
The combustion of perennial grass biomass to generate electricity may be a promising renewable energy option. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) grown as a biofuel has the potential to provide a cash crop for farmers and quality nesting cover for grassland birds. In southwestern Wisconsin (near lat. 42 degrees 52', long. 90 degrees 08'), we investigated the impact of an August harvest of switchgrass for bioenergy on community composition and abundance of Wisconsin grassland bird species of management concern. Harvesting the switchgrass in August resulted in changes in vegetation structure and bird species composition the following nesting season. In harvested transects, residual vegetation was shorter and the litter...
The environmental costs and bene®ts of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in terms of the relative e€ects on soil, water and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Department of Energy's Bioenegy Feedstock Develop- ment Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a per- ennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). The choice of switchgrass as a model bioenergy species was based on its high...
The combustion of perennial grass biomass to generate electricity may be a promising renewable energy option. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) grown as a biofuel has the potential to provide a cash crop for farmers and quality nesting cover for grassland birds. In southwestern Wisconsin (near lat. 42 degrees 52', long. 90 degrees 08'), we investigated the impact of an August harvest of switchgrass for bioenergy on community composition and abundance of Wisconsin grassland bird species of management concern. Harvesting the switchgrass in August resulted in changes in vegetation structure and bird species composition the following nesting season. In harvested transects, residual vegetation was shorter and the litter...
This paper presents an overview of the main issues associated with the economics of offshore wind. Investment in offshore wind systems has been growing rapidly throughout Europe, and the technology will be essential in meeting EU targets for renewable energy in 2020. Offshore wind suffers from high installation and connection costs, however, making government support essential. We review various support policies used in Europe, concluding that tender-based feed-in tariff schemes, as used in Denmark, may be best for providing adequate support while minimising developers' rents. It may prove economic to build an international offshore grid connecting wind farms belonging to different countries that are sited close...
A survey of Tennessee farmers was conducted to analyze their willingness to supply switchgrass to an emerging energy market. The majority of respondents had not heard of growing switchgrass for energy production and roughly half were unsure as to whether they would be willing to grow switchgrass. For those with an opinion about whether they would grow switchgrass, a two limit Tobit model was used to ascertain the effects of various farm and producer characteristics on the share of farmland they would be willing to convert. Higher net farm income per hectare had a negative influence on share, reflecting the opportunity cost of converting land. Younger farmers with higher levels of educational attainment and off-farm...
The environmental costs and bene®ts of producing bioenergy crops can be measured both in terms of the relative e€ects on soil, water and wildlife habitat quality of replacing alternate cropping systems with the designated bioenergy system, and in terms of the quality and amount of energy that is produced per unit of energy expended. While many forms of herbaceous and woody energy crops will likely contribute to future biofuels systems, The Department of Energy's Bioenegy Feedstock Develop- ment Program (BFDP), has chosen to focus its primary herbaceous crops research emphasis on a per- ennial grass species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). The choice of switchgrass as a model bioenergy species was based on its high...
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Potential yields and harvested area, by county, within the Mississippi River Basin, of switchgrass planted for biofuel in the year 2030 from the USDOE Billion Ton Update baseline scenario at a farmgate price of $60/dry ton or less. Source: USDOE Billion Ton Update, Scenario: BLY+EC1_BLT (Baseline Yield with 1% Increase in Energy Crops); Year: 2030.


    map background search result map search result map Biofuel Switchgrass Potential - 2030 (MRB) Switchgrass waterway buffers in the eastern Great Plains Switchgrass waterway buffers in the eastern Great Plains Biofuel Switchgrass Potential - 2030 (MRB)