Date: May 1, 1994
Creator: Anderson, I.C.; Buxton, D.R. & Hallam, J.A.
Description: The ultimate economic feasibility of biomass depends on its cost of production and on the cost of competing fuels. The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the production costs of several combinations of species and management systems for producing herbaceous biomass for energy use in Iowa. Herbaceous biomass production systems have costs similar to other crop production systems, such as corn, soybean, and forages. Thus, the factors influencing the costs of producing dedicated biomass energy crops include technological factors such as the cultivation system, species, treatments, soil type, and site and economic factors such as input prices and use of fixed resources. In order to investigate how these production alternatives are influenced by soil resources, and climate conditions, two locations in Iowa, Ames and Chariton, with different soil types and slightly different weather patterns were selected for both the agronomic and economic analyses. Nine crops in thirteen cropping systems were grown at the two sites for five years, from 1988 to 1992. Some of the systems had multiple cropping or interplanting, using combinations of cool-season species and warm-season species, in order to meet multiple objectives of maximum biomass, minimal soil loss, reduced nitrogen fertilization or diminished pesticide inputs. ...
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