Fritschi, Felix

2011 DOT-RITA

Project Title:  Assessing and Predicting Switchgrass and High-Biomass Sorghum Yields and Economic Viability

Principal Investigators and affiliations:
PI: Dr. Felix Fritschi (University of Missouri, Division of Plant Sciences)
Co-PI: Dr. Charles West (University of Arkansas)
Co-PI: Dr. Michael Popp (University of Arkansas)
Co-PI: Dr. Montgomery Alison (LSU AgCenter)
Co-PI: Dr Vijaya Gopal Kakani (Oklahoma State University)

Funded: $367,158

Start Date: 7/1/2011                        End Date: 6/30/2015

Expected Outcomes:

The goals of this project are: 1) to predict and evaluate switchgrass and biomass sorghum biofuel feedstock productivity in diverse production environments using crop growth models; 2) incorporate, calibrate and validate algorithms to predict nitrogen and phosphorus removal in the harvested biomass; 3) develop a spreadsheet-based decision tool for calculating production costs and breakeven biomass prices. The specific objectives of this project are to: 1) Adapt appropriate crop models to predict switchgrass and biomass sorghum biofuel feedstock productivity across diverse environmental conditions; 2) Develop model subroutines to predict nitrogen and phosphorus removal in harvested biomass; 3) Develop models to predict post-senescence field losses of biomass, crop moisture, and nutrients; 4) Simulate biomass yields and nutrient removal across diverse environmental conditions that can be used for economic analyses; 5) Develop economic models using crop model outputs, expected harvest moisture and fertilizer inputs to calculate annualized, prorated breakeven prices for the two species.


Project Synopsis