Biological & Environmental Engineering
Soil & Water Lab
Home    People    Research    Courses    Tools    Publications    Contact

Bioenergy Research Areas

Sustainable Development of Perennial Grass Bioenergy on Marginal Soils of New York

Marginal lands constitute the primary land base available for development of both grass and short-rotation woody perennial bioenergy crops in NY and the Northeast. Use of marginal lands for bioenergy can help defuse food vs. fuel competition for prime farmland, provide regionally-distributed sources of energy products, and can prevent reversion of idle lands to scrub. “Marginal” (a term whose meaning varies regionally) in NY commonly means seasonally wet, poorly drained, and sometimes susceptible to drought in summer. Perennial crops that require minimal soil disturbance once established are a good match for these soils. Unfortunately, the research base on bioenergy grass production and impacts on these soils is very thin, especially for NY and the Northeast. Our goal is to carry out research on marginal soils, assessing crops yields as well as soil and emission impacts for both switchgrass and reed canarygrass.

For more detailed information, please see the detailed project description.

Soil and Water Lab people working on this project: Brian Richards, Cathelijne Stoof, Cedric Mason.

Principal Investigator: Brian Richards

Funding Source: USDA/NIFA Sustainable Bioenergy program.

Brian Richards, PI, helping to drill groundwater depth monitoring wells.

Project Site. Google Maps caught us in the middle of sampling from our soil emissions chambers on July 11 2012!