See more from this Session: Management of Bio-Energy and Other Crops
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Sweet sorghum is a crop garnering considerable attention as a feedstock in the emerging biofuels industry. The long growing season in the southern US provides an opportunity to produce biofuel feedstock over an extended time. It is important to evaluate planting date to determine the effect on biofuel properties of sweet sorghum and optimum harvest time before production systems can be devised. With the ability to produce a ratoon crop, sorghum could possibly be used in a two cut system and enhance biofuel production and efficiency of operation of a bio-refinery. Early planting may allow for ratoon cropping although this aspect of sweet sorghum has not been studied extensively. This could provide the opportunity of two biofuel crops in a season or utilizing early growth as a livestock feed and providing a biofuel crop later in the season. Since the advanced biofuels industry is only emerging it is hard to know how producers will integrate into the system. In agricultural enterprises it is often stressed that diversification of crops is important for profitability. It would be important to determine the impact of later planting on sweet sorghum biofuel properties to understand the possibility of incorporating a double cropping system such as winter grain crop and summer biofuel crop into a farming operation. The proposed study will investigate a wide range of planting dates for sweet sorghum to determine the impact on biofuel properties such as biomass yield, sugar yield and fermentable sugar composition and allow for possible ratoon cropping.