Agricultural BIOstock

Agricultural residues are the largest available lignocellulosic biorefinery feedstock resource. Current production is concentrated where grain is grown, in the Midwest and Great Plains. Researchers have concluded that, within limits, residue removal can be sustainable and crop residues could be an additional revenue source for farmers.

Dedicated biomass crops include grasses and short-rotation trees. Grasses are widely planted for forage and conservation purposes. New varieties that produce sustained high biomass yields with relatively low nutrient inputs have already been developed. The deep roots, perennial nature, and high nutrient-use efficiencies of some warm-season grasses increase the probability of dependable yields.

Benefits from the Bioenergy Producers Association

Conversion technologies (CTs) present new opportunities for farmers and dairymen, both in the management of wastes and in the development of new industries:

  • CTs can mitigate regulatory challenges by turning waste materials, such as agricultural residues and manures, into products, such as distributed energy, ethanol, chemicals, and fertilizers.
  • CT “biorefineries” present new fuel and chemical markets for existing crops and residues, and new agribusiness opportunities through the integration of dedicated energy crops.
  • Biorefineries and biobased manufacturing provide new avenues for rural economic development.
  • CTs help to create a post-petroleum agricultural platform through the use of environmentally benign biochemical alternatives and soil phytoremediation.

Last updated July 3, 2008