ARS researchers in Temple, TX, employed adaptive nutrient management to determine preferred balances on farms.
Elephant Grass Trumpeted as Bio-Feedstock
Napier grass, otherwise known as elephant grass, has the highest biomass productivity of any grass that has been tested for biofuel feedstock cropping in the southeastern United States.
To maximize elephant grass’s utility as a bioethanol feedstock, ARS scientists from the Crop Genetics and Breeding Research and Southeast Watershed Research Units in Tifton, GA, and the Bioenergy Research Unit in Peoria, IL conducted research on how farm management practices could impact its production. One important discovery was that if the crop was fertilized in May and harvested in December just once a year, elephant grass production could remain consistent for the next 5 years. In contrast, two harvests a year (in June and December) led to dramatic declines in production beginning in the 3rd year. ARS researchers continue to help farmers and biofuel producers better understand elephant grass’s capacity as a biofuel feedstock and improve production efficiency for all types of bio-feedstocks.
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.
Developing Biofuel Opportunities
ARS scientists are investigating ways to ensure agriculture can produce renewable fuels that will help diminish our carbon footprint.
New Standards for Analyzing Soil Health
A new protocol addresses sources of variability and uncertainty in measuring microbial community composition and its connection with agricultural management and changing climate.
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.