See more from this Session: Symposium--the Blue-Green Revolution: Why Water Availability and Water Management Will Be Key to Success in Bio-Energy and Environmental Security: II
Tuesday, November 2, 2010: 10:20 AM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103B, First Floor
Increasing demands for developing sustainable production of food and cellulosic biomass on historically classified marginal soils mandates a new generation of human-induced creative soil improvements that contribute to future generations. Recent expansion of potato, berry, vegetable and other high value crops growing on sandy soils require more irrigation water with increasing losses of plant nutrients, pesticides and endocrine disruptive compounds, with additions of manure. Some highly productive coarse textured soils retain more water in the root zones of cash crops due to the presence of small Bt layers of clay or very fine sand lenses at depths ranging from 50 to 80 cm. These observations have led to the development of various water barrier technologies, many of which deteriorate and malfunction within a few years. Subsurface water retention technologies (SWRT) have been studied, reviewed and revised at Michigan State University during the past 45 years. Newly designed barrier installation devices are being tested of their most efficient water retention, partial drainage and longevity. SWRT contributions that extend plant-available water and nutrients, between rainfall and irrigation events will be addressed. Long-term studies are designed to quantify carbon sequestration, formation and stabilization of soil aggregates which form aerobic and anaerobic microsites of microbial communities that reduce greenhouse gas production by improving biogeochemical interfaces with mineral surfaces. Past histories of successful water retention systems have reduced irrigation water requirement from 20 to 60% while increasing grain, vegetable and biomass yields by 50% to 400%. New and novel human improvements to past additional water holding technologies can expand the sustainable production of food and cellulosic biomass for liquid biofuels while using the best new plant varieties and best management practices that lead us into the next blue-green revolution.