Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Models Help Assess Biofuels' Sustainability

Date:
October 28, 2008
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Many agricultural products can be converted into feedstocks for alternative fuel. Now analysis from the Agricultural Research Service suggests that they can be used this way without reducing the nation's food supply, soil production capacity or environmental quality.

Agronomist George Mueller-Warrant (front) and hydrologist Jerry Whittaker look at alternative locations for conservation practices in the Calapooia River watershed.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

Many agricultural products can be converted into feedstocks for alternative fuel. Now analysis from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) suggests that they can be used this way without reducing the nation's food supply, soil production capacity or environmental quality.

ARS scientists are collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to assess the economic impact of feedstock production. At locations around the United States, ARS scientists are evaluating how individual and combined management decisions influence different farming systems.

In one collaborative study, ARS scientists in Oregon and Texas are pairing two biophysical models to evaluate the environmental impact of land-management practices on large, complex watersheds over long periods of time. The assessment will also take into account the effects of varying soils, land use and management conditions.

The first model, called CQESTR, simulates changes in soil organic carbon based on factors such as climate, tillage management, crop rotation and crop residue removal. By incorporating the model into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), ARS soil scientist Hero T. Gollany, at the Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center in Pendleton, Ore., and ARS agricultural engineer Jeffrey G. Arnold, at the Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas, can predict how land management practices will influence soil organic carbon, soil organic matter, water, sediment and agricultural chemical accumulation.

Another ARS model, called PGA-BIOECON, calculates the trade-offs among three important objectives: profitability, water quality and production efficiency. ARS hydrologist Gerald Whittaker, at the agency's Forage, Seed and Cereal Research Unit in Corvallis, Ore., helped develop the model. Because the model can work on many scales and on multiple objectives, its results provide information to a diverse pool of users, encompassing individual farmers and national policymakers.

Whittaker's model projects information on a variety of complex factors, providing data that could allow stakeholders to select the best management decisions to achieve their objectives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Models Help Assess Biofuels' Sustainability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195322.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2008, October 28). Models Help Assess Biofuels' Sustainability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195322.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Models Help Assess Biofuels' Sustainability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081013195322.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins