ARS researchers in Temple, TX, employed adaptive nutrient management to determine preferred balances on farms.
Developing Biofuel Opportunities while Reducing Greenhouse Gasses
ARS scientists across the country are investigating ways to ensure agriculture can not only produce food, feed, and fiber, but also renewable fuels that will help diminish our carbon footprint. In University Park, PA, ARS scientists helped conduct life-cycle studies showing that producing ethanol from winter barley crops can generate a smaller carbon footprint compared to making gasoline from crude oil. This is important because it allows ethanol, considered a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline, to meet the advanced fuel standard of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Meanwhile, a team of ARS scientists in Mandan, ND, joined with Michigan Tech and the U.S. Department of Transportation to show that replacing fallow land with oilseed crops like canola in non-irrigated areas of the Great Plains can offer several potential benefits. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing soil-stored carbon, and bolstering regional farmer incomes approximately $25 million annually through the production of sustainable jet fuel.
In Lincoln, NE, and Fort Collins, CO, ARS scientists determined that agricultural systems for producing ethanol from switchgrass kept more carbon in soil and released less nitrous oxide over a 16-year trial period than continuous plantings of corn managed with conservation techniques. Furthermore, ARS researchers in Temple, TX; Madison, WI; Lincoln, NE; and Griffin, GA, uncovered important genetic clues to switchgrass’ success in adapting to different growing conditions across much of the eastern half of the continental United States. The findings of these multi-location ARS studies inform producers and policymakers alike—from exploring emerging market opportunities to creating programs that support renewable fuel production and national energy security.
Developing Biofuel Opportunities While Reducing Greenhouse Gasses
Explore Other Discoveries
Adaptive Nutrient Management
Carbon Mapping on the Go
ARS researchers have developed a unique mobile system that assesses and maps out soil carbon to a depth of 30 centimeters (the plow layer) – all in real time.
Elephant Grass as Bio-Feedstock
Scientists conducted research on how farm management practices could maximize elephant grass’s utility as a bioethanol feedstock.
Protecting American Cattle From Ticks
ARS scientists collaborated to sequence and assemble the genomes of the ticks that cause cattle fever and anaplasmosis.
Take Your Alfalfa Out to Pasture
Beef producers in the western United States have been searching for alternatives to nitrogen-rich fertilizers .
To Save More Water, Plant Corn Later
A team of researchers and their partners have found another way to conserve water: late planted corn.
Wrangling for Resiliency
ARS researchers and the USDA Southwest Climate Hub developed a new set of tools aiming at helping farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders plan for serious environmental challenges.