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feedstock yield

This document provides presentation style maps of potential crop yield of dedicated bioenergy crops from the publication "Productivity Potential of Bioenergy Crops from the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership." 2013. Eaton, Laurence, Chris Daly, Mike Halbleib, Vance Owens, Bryce Stokes. ORNL/TM-2013/574.

In 2013 a series of meetings was held across the US with each of the crop teams and the resource assessment team, led by the Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to review, standardize, and verify yield trials from 2007-2012 crop years and assimilate their outcomes into a national model of biomass yield suitability. The meetings provided a way to “ground truth” yield estimates in order to accurately capture interactions of climate and soils for dedicated energy crops, including switchgrass, energycane, biomass sorghum, CRP grasses, miscanthus x giganteus, hybrid poplar, willow, and pine. The verification of yield data included generating a standardized set of management assumptions for each crop and summarizing site potential yield according to the agreed cultural practices to establish, manage, and harvest each crop. From these sets of funded trials and historical data, yield was estimated across spatial gradients according to soil characteristics and climate history at a 2-week interval. The resulting national grids provide critical information for policymakers and planners of the potential productivity of these pre-commercial crops.

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Laurence Eaton
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Bioenergy Category
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Crop residues are among the cellulosic feedstocks expected to provide renewable energy. The
availability of crop species and residue availability varies across the United States. Estimates of
harvestable residues must consider all the residues produced during the entire rotation. Inclusion
of fallow or low residue producing crops requires that less feedstock be harvested. A re-occurring
theme among the regions is that soils need to be safeguarded against erosion and against loss of soil
organic matter (SOM). First, highly erodible lands are categorically excluded from harvesting residues
in all regions. The minimum of residue needed to meet soil needs is highly variable. Where sufficient
residues are produced to meet soil conservation and SOM considerations, harvesting of a portion may
be considered. Soil conservation practices include eliminating or at least reducing tillage to keep the soil
covered, avoiding fallow and adding perennials, applying amendments (manure, biochar) and planting
cover crops in areas with sufficient moisture. Calculating regional or national availability of residue
feedstock is valuable for evaluating the feasibility of bioenergy production; however, on a field basis,
site-specific decision aids will be needed.

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Jane Johnson
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Bioenergy Category
Jane Johnson
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