Biofuels are important alternatives for meeting our future energy needs. Successful bioenergy crop production requires preservation of environmental sustainability and minimal impacts on current net annual food, feed, and fiber production. Therefore placement of energy crops on strategically selected subfield areas in an agricultural landscape has the potential to simultaneously provide in situ recovery of the excess nutrient leachate for high biomass yields and the opportunity to improve water quality. This presentation will focus on differences in biomass yields, nutrient recovery and GHG emissions on eroded and frequently flooded soils at a field scale. Also, landscape assessment of nutrient recovery and opportunity costs of growing willows on subfield areas in the Indian Creek watershed (IL) instead of current land use, will be discussed as the basis for required levels of payment for ecosystem services, to compensate for lost revenue.
This project is supported by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).