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Title: An Integrated Landscape Management Approach to Sustainable Bioenergy Production

Here, integrated landscape management has emerged in recent years as a methodology to integrate the environmental impacts of various agricultural practices along with yield and profitability in a variety of cropping systems. In this study, the Landscape Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF), a decision support toolset for use in integrated landscape management and developed at Idaho National Laboratory, is used to evaluate the profitability of grain producing subfields and determining the efficacy of harvesting residual biomass after grain harvest while ensuring that the soil and soil carbon losses from wind and water erosion remain low enough to sustainably continue year-to-year production of grains. LEAF was used to assess the potential production of three bioenergy crops, sorghum, switchgrass, and miscanthus, on the unprofitable subfields in four US counties. To assess the sustainability of this mode of bioenergy production, the harvesting of residual biomass and energy crops are modeled using geo-referenced, precision harvesting equipment and optimal harvesting paths on individual sub-fields to develop farm-specific estimates of harvesting costs. The resulting average harvesting and logistics costs for combined harvesting of residual biomass and energy crops were observed to be well within US DOE’s 2017 goals for biomass feedstock price. However, it was also determinedmore » that considerable variability exists in the harvesting costs because of the size, shape, and productivity of individual subfields. It was determined that the variability in the harvesting costs can be used as a means to cull non-profitable farms that also have low harvesting costs and high yields of bioenergy crops. The results of the assessment indicate that the potential to produce biomass is considerably enhanced when non-profitable subfields are replaced by bioenergy crops to be harvested as biomass.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. AgSolver, Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1939-1234
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
BioEnergy Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1939-1234
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Landscape Environmental Assessment Framework; LEAF; biomass; energy crops; switchgrass; miscanthus; feedstock; herbaceous; logistics cost
OSTI Identifier: