Resources for informed decision-making
To fuel the future biorefineries, poplar feedstock will need to be grown in high densities near the refineries. We believe this can be accomplished through co-ops of poplar growers. To evaluate the potential for grower cooperatives, we are strengthening our network with other Extension professionals in those areas that show promise for growing poplar as a bioenergy crop. We are providing resources to help growers decide if they should grow poplars for bioenergy.
To find the most suitable lands for growing hybrid poplars in the Northwest, we are working with the AHB Feedstock and Sustainability Teams. Land suitability is being determined using geographic information systems (GIS) along with economic and supply-chain modeling. We are developing a land-mapping system that shows growers whether their property is a good candidate for growing poplar and provides relevant links and local contact information.
Currently, there are no opportunities for local growers to begin growing poplar for biofuel production, as this is the beginning of the research and development process. The goal is to be ready for commercialization at the end of the 5-year research project, at which point there will be opportunities for growers around the region.