Dr. Girisha Ganjegunte, Associate Professor, Texas A&M Agrilife Research at El Paso, Texas, and Dr. Bruce McCarl of Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, are the recipients of USDA-NIFA research grants through the South Central Sun Grant Program’s regional competitive grants program.
Dr. Ganjegunte collaborates with Drs. Yanqi Wu (Oklahoma State University), April Ulery (New Mexico State University), Samuel Zapata (Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service), Genhua Niu and Juan Enciso (Texas A&M Agrilife Research) to conduct a study on “Developing Alternative Water Sources for Bioenergy Crops Production on Marginal Lands”. This study aims to evaluate the effects of marginal quality water irrigation on the performance of switchgrass, biomass sorghum, and canola as well as on irrigation use efficiency and salinity.
Another grant awarded will model and analyze the logistics of supplying biomass for biofuel and biopower. This project is led by Dr. McCarl in collaboration with Drs. Stephen Searcy and Neil Geismar (Texas A&M University) and Dr. Jeffrey Vitale (Oklahoma State University). McCarl’s team aims to develop methods to improve efficiency of biomass supply chains with the goal of reducing final product cost by 15 % to make industries and bioenergy market penetration more viable.