See more from this Session: Enhancing and Facilitating Use of Agricultural System Models in Field Research
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) has high potential as a dedicated cellulosic feedstock crop for producing biofuels. Compared to current grain feedstocks, sorghum and other cellulosic feedstocks can be grown in greater abundance, offer greater net energy gains, and are not directly used for human food. A bio-based industry is emerging with advances in conversion technologies and the implementation of favorable economic policies. A potential bottleneck in growing the industry is the large scale deployment of high biomass sorghum (HBS) as a bioenergy feedstock crop because of the lack of fundamental knowledge of where, when and how much can be grown. Research is needed to understand the agronomic management to improve yield and quality of HBS to ensure an adequate supply of high feedstock. Environmental conditions, especially temperature, photoperiod and precipitation during the reproductive period are likely the major factors controlling HBS yield and quality. Attracting cellulosic ethanol industry requires tools that will accurately project yields of bioenergy feedstocks in the region of interest. There is a lack of crop models for the bioenergy feedstocks (e.g. sorghum, switchgrass, canola and sunflower) that can simulate yield and quality, nitrogen and water use. The objective of this study is to develop parameters for simulating HBS with CSM-CERES-Sorghum model. The parameterized and calibrated model can be used by both producers and industry for management of crop and projecting sorghum feedstock supply.