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Research to develop improved production methods for woody and herbaceous biomass crops

Description: DOE`s Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) has led the nation in developing short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) and herbaceous energy crops (HEC) as feedstocks for renewable energy. Over the past 15 years, the BFDP has examined the performance of 154 woody species and 35 herbaceous species in field trials across the US. One result of this effort to date has been the prescription of silvicultural systems for hybrid poplars and hybrid willows and agricultural systems for switchgrass. Selected clones of woody species are producing dry weight yields in research plots on agricultural land that are 3 to 7 times greater than those obtained from mixed species stands on forest land, and at least 2 times the yields of southern plantation pines. Selected switchgrass varieties are producing dry weight yields 2 to 7 times greater than average forage grass yields on similar sites. Crop development research is continuing efforts to translate this potential, in a sustainable manner, to larger, more geographically diverse acreage. Research on environmental aspects of biomass crop production are aimed at developing sustainable systems that will contribute to the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. Systems integration aims to understand all factors affecting bringing the crop to market. Factors affecting price and potential supplies of biomass crops are being evaluated at regional and national scales. Scale-up studies, feasibility analysis and demonstrations are establishing actual costs and facilitating the commercialization of integrated biomass systems. Information management and dissemination activities are facilitating the communication of results among a community of researchers, policymakers, and potential users and producers of energy crops.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Ferrell, J.E.; Wright, L.L. & Tuskan, G.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department