Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advancing biocrop alternatives in the Pacific Northwest

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Summary:
Farmers could someday be filling up their machinery's tanks with fuels produced from their own fields, according to ongoing research.

ARS research has found that a Pacific Northwest farmer could grow enough canola on 50 to 70 acres along with an onsite crusher and biodiesel facility to supply the fuel needed to run a 1,000-acre farm operation.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.

Pacific Northwest farmers could someday be filling up their machinery's tanks with fuels produced from their own fields, according to ongoing research by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Since 2003, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Hal Collins and agronomist Rick Boydston have been studying safflower, camelina, soybeans, mustard, canola, wheat, corn and switchgrass to assess their potential for bioenergy production. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy.

Collins and Boydston both work at the ARS Vegetable and Forage Crops Research Laboratory in Prosser, Wash., where they've found that the oilseed crops in their studies could someday help supply Washington State with renewable fuels. For instance, they've found that canola, which is already established as a summer crop in the Pacific Northwest, can also be grown in the winter both as a cover crop and potentially as a biofeedstock crop, because its seeds are around 40 percent oil.

Their results also suggest that it could take anywhere from 50 to 70 acres for a farmer with 1,000 acres and an onsite crusher and biodiesel facility to grow enough canola to produce the fuel needed to run on-farm operations.

The team also found that in field trials, camelina plants produced an average of 2,000 pounds of seeds per acre in 80 days, which translates into 700 pounds of oil -- and eventually 93 gallons of oil -- per acre. Safflower plants, meanwhile, produced around 3,000 to 3,500 pounds of seeds per acre, and white mustard seed meal could also be used as an organic fertilizer after the seeds were crushed to extract the oil for fuel.

Collins and Boydston also evaluated eleven switchgrass cultivars in their studies and found "Kanlow" to be the most promising cultivar for maximum production under sustainable irrigation strategies in the Pacific Northwest's Columbia Basin. Four years after the team planted the first crop, they measured yields of 14 dry tons per acre, which could translate into around 1,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol per acre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. The original article was written by Ann Perry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Advancing biocrop alternatives in the Pacific Northwest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203101510.htm>.
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. (2011, February 3). Advancing biocrop alternatives in the Pacific Northwest. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203101510.htm
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics. "Advancing biocrop alternatives in the Pacific Northwest." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110203101510.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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