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Speaker Abstract

Forages as Bioenergy Crops

Matt A. Sanderson
Research Agronomist
USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit
University Park, PA

Forages fueled agriculture a century ago and, in the form of biomass feedstock, forages may once again fuel agriculture in the 21st century. Nationally, the goal of USDA-ARS biomass research is to make biomass production systems economically viable by increasing crop yields and decreasing production costs, improving biomass conversion technology, and genetically altering plants to improve conversion efficiency. At University Park, we research perennial grasses as feedstocks, bioenergy cropping systems, and conduct life cycle analyses. A critical need is teams of scientists, extension staff, and producer-cooperators in key agro-ecoregions to develop profitable management of biomass feedstocks appropriate to those areas.