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Title: Current and potential U.S. Corn Stover Supplies

Abstract

Agricultural residues such as corn (Zea mays L.) stover are a potential feedstock for bioenergy and bio-based products that could reduceU.S. dependence on foreign oil. Collection of such residues must take into account concerns that residue removal could increase erosion, reduce crop productivity, and deplete soil carbon and nutrients. This article estimates where and how much corn stover can be collected sustainably in the USA using existing commercial equipment and estimates costs of that collection. Erosion constraints to collection were considered explicitly, and crop productivity and soil nutrient constraints were considered implicitly, by recognizing the value of residues for maintaining soil moisture and including the cost of fertilizer to replace nutrients removed. Possible soil carbon loss was not considered in the analysis. With an annual production of 196 million Mg of corn grain (about9.2 billion bushels), the USA produces 196 million Mg of stover. Under current rotation and tillage practices, about 30% of this stover could be collected for less than $33 per Mg, taking into consideration erosion and soil moisture concerns and nutrient replacement costs. Wind erosion is a major constraint to stover collection. Analysis suggests three regions of the country (central Illinois, northern Iowa/southern Minnesota, and along themore » Platte River in Nebraska) produce sufficient stover to support large biorefineries with one million Mg per year feedstock demands and that if farmers converted to universal no-till production of corn, then over 100 million Mg of stover could be collected annually without causing erosion to exceed the tolerable soil loss.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4]
  1. ORNL
  2. Kansas State University
  3. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  4. subcontractor
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
931333
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Agronomy Journal; Journal Volume: 99; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; AGRICULTURAL WASTES; CARBON; CROPS; FERTILIZERS; MAIZE; MOISTURE; NUTRIENTS; PRODUCTIVITY; REMOVAL; RESIDUES; RIVERS; ROTATION; SOILS; Bioenergy; feedstocks; corn; corn stover; erosion; bioenergy feedstock

Citation Formats

Graham, Robin Lambert, Nelson, R, Perlack, Robert D, Sheehan, J., and Wright, Lynn L. Current and potential U.S. Corn Stover Supplies. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2134/agronj2005.0222.
Graham, Robin Lambert, Nelson, R, Perlack, Robert D, Sheehan, J., & Wright, Lynn L. Current and potential U.S. Corn Stover Supplies. United States. doi:10.2134/agronj2005.0222.
Graham, Robin Lambert, Nelson, R, Perlack, Robert D, Sheehan, J., and Wright, Lynn L. Mon . "Current and potential U.S. Corn Stover Supplies". United States. doi:10.2134/agronj2005.0222.
@article{osti_931333,
title = {Current and potential U.S. Corn Stover Supplies},
author = {Graham, Robin Lambert and Nelson, R and Perlack, Robert D and Sheehan, J. and Wright, Lynn L},
abstractNote = {Agricultural residues such as corn (Zea mays L.) stover are a potential feedstock for bioenergy and bio-based products that could reduceU.S. dependence on foreign oil. Collection of such residues must take into account concerns that residue removal could increase erosion, reduce crop productivity, and deplete soil carbon and nutrients. This article estimates where and how much corn stover can be collected sustainably in the USA using existing commercial equipment and estimates costs of that collection. Erosion constraints to collection were considered explicitly, and crop productivity and soil nutrient constraints were considered implicitly, by recognizing the value of residues for maintaining soil moisture and including the cost of fertilizer to replace nutrients removed. Possible soil carbon loss was not considered in the analysis. With an annual production of 196 million Mg of corn grain (about9.2 billion bushels), the USA produces 196 million Mg of stover. Under current rotation and tillage practices, about 30% of this stover could be collected for less than $33 per Mg, taking into consideration erosion and soil moisture concerns and nutrient replacement costs. Wind erosion is a major constraint to stover collection. Analysis suggests three regions of the country (central Illinois, northern Iowa/southern Minnesota, and along the Platte River in Nebraska) produce sufficient stover to support large biorefineries with one million Mg per year feedstock demands and that if farmers converted to universal no-till production of corn, then over 100 million Mg of stover could be collected annually without causing erosion to exceed the tolerable soil loss.},
doi = {10.2134/agronj2005.0222},
journal = {Agronomy Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 99,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}