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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCED MODELS AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES FOR WATERSHED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: Modeling to evaluate and manage water and environmental sustainablility of bioenergy crops in the U.S.

Authors
item Kiniry, James
item Meki, Manyowa -
item Schumacher, Thomas -
item Zilverberg, Cody -
item Fritschi, Felix -
item Kakani, Vijaya -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Decisions are being made that will determine the path to be taken or even the possibility of eliminating some options for biofuel production and use. The objectives of this chapter are to describe some computer simulation tools as they have been applied to issues related to biofuel production and to describe using the ALMANAC model for these applications. In order to verify that the plant material yields are realistic, we compared mean simulated yields for four sites in the Central Great Plains to reported yields of corn and switchgrass. We were successful in getting mean simulated values close to the mean measured values in each case. The model was then used to simulate how efficiently these plants used water with different production systems and the stability of plant production in these systems. This study demonstrated the usefulness of this simulation model. Further work with other candidate plant species will prove useful to extend this type of approach. Likewise, further validation of the plant yields on various soils in various rainfall zones will be invaluable as a proof of concept for this approach.

Technical Abstract: Decisions are being made that will determine the path to be taken or even the possibility of eliminating some options for biofuel production and use. The objectives of this chapter are to describe some of these modeling tools as they have been applied to issues related to biofuel production and to describe using the ALMANAC model for these applications. In order to verify that the biomass yields are realistic, we compared mean simulated yields for four sites in the Central Great Plains to reported yields of maize and switchgrass. We were successful in getting mean simulated values close to the mean measured values in each case. The model was then used to simulate water use efficiency of different production systems and biomass yield stability of these systems. This study demonstrated the usefulness of this process-based model for these portions of life cycle analyses. Further work developing parameters to simulate other candidate plant species will prove useful to extend this type of approach. Likewise, further validation of the plant yields on various soils in various rainfall zones will be invaluable as a proof of concept for this approach.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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