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Title: Opportunities for Energy Crop Production Based on Subfield Scale Distribution of Profitability

Incorporation of dedicated herbaceous energy crops into row crop landscapes is a promising means to supply an expanding biofuel industry while increasing biomass yields, benefiting soil and water quality, and increasing biodiversity. Despite these positive traits energy crops remain largely unaccepted due to concerns over their practicality and cost of implementation. This paper presents a case study on Hardin County, Iowa to demonstrate how subfield decision making can be used to target candidate areas for conversion to energy crop production. The strategy presented integrates switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) into subfield landscape positions where corn (Zea mays L.) grain is modeled to operate at a net economic loss. The results of this analysis show that switchgrass integration has the potential to increase sustainable biomass production from 48 to 99% (depending on the rigor of conservation practices applied to corn stover collection) while also improving field level profitability. Candidate land area is highly sensitive to grain price (0.18 to 0.26 US$ kg-1) and dependent on the acceptable net profit for corn production (ranging from 0 to -1,000 US$ ha-1). This work presents the case that switchgrass can be economically implemented into row crop production landscapes when management decisions are applied at amore » subfield scale and compete against areas of the field operating at a negative net profit.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Biofuels and Renewable Technologies Dept.
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Environmental Engineering and Technology Dept.
  3. AgSolver, Inc., Ames, IA (United States)
  4. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Ames, IA (United States). National Lab. for Agriculture and the Environment
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1177646
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU--14-32056
Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073; ENERGA; PII: en7106509
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energies (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energies (Basel); Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BIOMASS; AGRICULTURAL WASTES; MAIZE; SWITCHGRASS Biomass; corn stover; Landscape Environmental Assessment Framework; Subfield management; switchgrass