Task 2: Sustainable Feedstock Production

4/5/2012 11:38:25 PM

Energycane:

Task 2.1. Cultural practices that improve cold tolerance of energycane varieties.

    Energycane production may be limited by cold tolerance of germplasm. A mulch layer acts 
    as an insulator against freezing temperatures. Three different layers of soil and mulch will be 
    tested at a northern site to create a cultural practice to growing sugarcane in colder 
    climates.

Task 2.2. Energycane fertility management for northern locations.

    Fertilizer recommendations for energycane production in areas outside the traditional cane-
    growing region of the United States may differ from sugarcane requirements. Fertility
    management at the plot scale will be investigated using five rates of nitrogen, including
    none, minimal, middle range and high rate.

Task 2.3. Energycane harvest time effects on feedstock quality.

    Supplying a quality feedstock consistently is critical to bioenergy sustainability. In 
    collaboration with the feedstock development objectives, energycane varieties currently in 
    the pipeline will be evaluated. Sufficient seed cane will be planted in 2011 to allow for 
    repeated harvests at monthly intervals beginning in September 2012 and ending in January 
    2013.

Task 2.4. Planting method impacts on energycane yields.

    Four energycane varieties will be planted as whole stalks or billets at the Sugar 
    Research Station in St. Gabriel, La. Energycane seed will be cut either by chopper 
    harvester or by a soldier harvester and planted mechanically. These stalks will be measured 
    for population, heights, wet yield and moisture content.

Sweet Sorghum Rationale:

Task 2.5. Assess the potential for producing sweet sorghum feedstock from early summer to the first frost by utilizing multiple plantings of hybrids of different maturity.

    At the Sugar Research Station, a set of six sweet sorghum hybrids, two each from early-, 
    medium- and late-maturity groups, will be planted in a split-plot design with three
    replications; whole plots will be by planting date and sub-plots will be by hybrid.

Task 2.6. Identify interaction effects of tillage on sweet sorghum plant population, biomass, maturity and sugar quality using minimal and maintenance fertilization practices.

    At the Rice Research Station, field trail treatments will include two tillage systems 
    (conventional and no-till) and two fertilization practices (no fertilization and maintenance 
    fertilization). Each treatment will be replicated four times.

Task 2.7. Evaluate the potential for utilizing legumes grown in the cool season of the year to provide the necessary nitrogen for sweet sorghum production.

    Optimized legume nitrogen utilization strategy will be determined for sweet sorghum
    production systems. Cold-season legume crops will be established in fall at two
    locations (Macon Ridge and Southeast research stations). Sweet sorghum will be planted in
    each subsequent spring using both conventional and no-till for seedbed preparation.

Task 2.8. Monitoring of field experiments for crop diseases.

    Incidence and severity of diseases will be visually assessed intermittently in experiments 
    established to address tasks 1-5 at four locations.

Task 2.9. Carbon sequestration and life cycle assessment.

    In each sweet sorghum and energy cane plot, above- and below-ground biomass will be     
    sampled early.

Task 2.10. Life Cycle Assessment.

    Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will involve life cycle assessment (LCS) 
    studies associated with sustainability assessment of the production of second-generation 
    biofuels and biorenewable chemicals from energycane and sweet sorghum feedstocks.

Task 2: Accomplishments.

    Please click here for accomplishments related to Task 2 of the Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative.

Task 2: Collaborators.

Howard “Sonny” Viator, Iberia Research Station, LSU AgCenter, Section Leader
Brenda Tubana, School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences, LSU AgCenter
Dustin Harrel, Rice Research Station, LSU AgCenter
Hal Liechty, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Jeffrey Hoy, Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, LSU AgCenter
Kun-Jun Han, Southeast Research Station, LSU AgCenter
Michael Grisham, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Lab
Mike Blazier, Hill Farm Research Station, LSU AgCenter
Montgomery Wink Alison, Macon Ridge Research Station, LSU AgCenter
Paul White,  USDA-ARS Sugarcane Research Lab
Rich Johnson, USDA-Sugarcane Research Laboratory
Robert Anex, University of Wisconsin-Madison 
Sam Harris, CERES, Inc

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