Energy and conservation benefits from managed prairie biomass

By: , and 
Edited by: Elaine Booth

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Abstract

Marginally productive land, such as that enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), may provide acreage and economic incentives for cellulosic energy production. Improving the yields from these lands will help establish a biomass producer?s position in the marketplace. The effects of water and nitrogen on biomass yields were investigated in both a plot-scale experiment and a broad-scale survey of CRP lands. The plot-scale experiment demonstrated that irrigation improved mixed-species prairie biomass yields more than nitrogen fertilizer on coarse-textured, marginally productive soils. Experimental plots amended with both irrigation and moderate (but not high) nitrogen produced more biomass than other treatment combinations, but this trend was not statistically significant. The survey of biomass yields on CRP lands across four Midwestern States indicates that yields are better correlated with June rainfall than any other individual month. Applying nutrient-enriched water such as agricultural runoff could benefit prairie yields if applied at appropriate times.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Energy and conservation benefits from managed prairie biomass
Volume 112
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Association of Applied Biologists
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Biomass and energy crops IV
First page 147
Last page 151
Conference Title Biomass and energy crops IV
Conference Location Champaign, Illinois
Conference Date September 21-23 2011
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N