Topics and Chapters

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Topics & Book Chapters
1. Introduction {Doug Karlen & Jeff Steiner as co-leaders for Workshop; obviously others are welcome to participate}

This chapter would emphasize the following points:
Delivering sustainable bioenergy feedstock supplies is a national need with international implications that can only be met with regional innovations. It is also crucial to recognize that to meet this need the interconnectedness of feedstock production, global carbon balance, water quantity and quality, long-term nutrient use efficiencies and balances, productivity, soil and air quality, time, labor and economic constraints of producers, wildlife and community implications, plant diversity, financial investment, and the policies that drive decision making under increasingly variable climate conditions must be coordinated. Substantial amounts of information are available, the purpose of this Workshop is to synthesize this information and develop a consensus roadmap that will ensure the goal is met in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner.

2. Regional Net Primary Productivity, its effect on Agroecosystem Diversity and Feedstock Options {Richard Lowrance, USDA-ARS Tifton, GA}

Important Questions: What drives regional differences in net primary productivity? What feedstocks are among the "best" choices for the different areas of the U.S.? How do the regional "optimum" feedstocks fit into current crop production systems? What soil and water limitations are anticipated for the various feedstock options?

3. Feedstock and Conversion Platform Interactions {Mike Ladisch (Purdue Univ. & Mascoma Corp., IN); Chris Somerville (Energy Biosciences Institute, CA);

Robert Brown (Iowa State University, IA); David Laird, (USDA-ARS, IA); others TBD}

This chapter would replace the three specific platform chapters in the initial outline.

Important questions: What are the feedstock requirements/limitations for the biochemical, thermochemical and direct (catalytic) conversion platforms? Is this a "chicken & egg" question? Should investments be made in a platform or investments made in producing a specific feedstock be made first? Is there an answer? Is doing nothing a suitable answer? Where do wise people begin?

4. Economics for Achieving a Sustainable Feedstock Supply {John Miranowski, Iowa State University ?? }

Important questions: How does an economic approach to sustainability differ from an ecological approach? Are economics and ecology compatible in the 21st century biofuel arena? What incentives are needed for biofuel producers and feedstock producers? What are the implications for industry structure? Who should bear the risk — producers, processors, consumers, or the public (i.e. government)? How should risk be proportioned? What are the logistical realities of feedstock and product movement in a viable bioeconomy? What are the implications for spatial structure within a regionally diversified biofuel industry? At the "farm-gate" what is a fair return for the producer? How should costs for off-site impacts, real or potential, be accounted for?

Should policy be a separate topic or addressed under the overall banner of economics?

5 Strategies to Sustainably Balance Feedstock Production and Ecosystem Services {Jane Johnson, (USDA-ARS, MN); Paul Doriaswamy, (USDA-ARS, MD); Rob Anex, (ISU, IA); Don Wysocki, OSU; Others TBD}

Important questions: Feedstock production effects on soil, water and air quality; What are the trade-off’s for feedstock production on “unused or non-productive” lands versus intensifying production on existing cropland? Regional cropping system differences — how this impacts feedstock sources, availability, and logistics.

6. Policy Options for Sustainable Feedstock Production {authors TBD}

Important questions: What are the most feasible policy options for encouraging development of feedstocks for a biofuel industry? Should policy favor feedstock development or processing development equally or in some proportion? If proportional, what ratio is appropriate? What role should Department of Transportation have in siting feedstock processing facilities?

I'm sure other team member have better questions and points to make!

7. Sustainable feedstocks from animal systems (Pat Hunt, ARS-Florence, SC; Cherri Zimmer ARS-Ames, IA; Others TBD)

What role and amount of regional bioenergy feedstock could come from animal systems — manure, latrine waste, food waste (humans are included in this definition of animal systems) etc. Is this beyond the scope we wish to focus on? Should this be a "chapter" as was discussed for algea, but perhaps not highlighted during the Workshop?

8. Community and Social Factors Affecting Sustainable Feedstock Production.

Important questions: This chapter would address challenges beyond economics per se. How would sustainable biofuel feedstock production change rural communities? What infrastructure will have to be modified? What changes would be required in the banking and local investment services? Are there enough people in rural areas to provide entrepenuerial services to support a sustanable feedstock production system? What impact will emphasis on feedstock production have on commodity crops? Authors TBD.

Potential Case Studies — Are these the correct themes? Are they regionally specific? Are there better candidates?

  • The Monsanto-John Deere-ADM Corn Stover Experience in Iowa {Pradip Das and Mike Edgerton, Monsanto Inc.}
  • Use of Sawmill Waste for Bioenergy Production in the NE {enter author suggestions here}
  • Biomass Sorghum Feedstock Production in Texas {enter author suggestions here}
  • Co-mingling Municipal Waste and Agricultural Feedstocks in CA {Bill Ortz, USDA-ARS Albany, CA}
  • Switchgrass Myths and Realities {Ken Vogel, Jim Kinnery and Rob Mitchell, USDA-ARS, Lincoln, NE & Temple, TX) }
  • Development of Pilot Studies using Native Grass Species {enter author suggestions here}
  • Woody Species Update {enter author suggestions here}


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