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Developing Alternative Water Sources for Bioenergy Crops Production On Marginal Lands

2017 USDA-NIFA Integrated Award


Principal Investigators and affiliations:
PI:  Dr. Girisha Ganjegunte, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center
Co-PI: Dr. Yanqi Wu (Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI: Dr. Dr. April Ulery (New Mexico State University)
Co-PI: Dr. Genhua Niu (Texas A&M AgriLife Research)
Co-PI: Dr. Juan Enciso (Texas A&M AgriLife Research)
Co-PI: Dr. Samuel Zapata (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service)

Funded: $150,000

Start Date: 1/01/2017

End Date: 12/31/2018


The main goal of the project is to develop alternative irrigation water sources and suitable salinity management practices to ensure long-term viability of bioenergy crop production and improve farm profitability in the arid southwest.


The specific objectives of this project are to evaluate:

  1. 1. Performance of salt tolerant bioenergy crop species and cultivar(s) irrigated with marginal quality water irrigation under field conditions.
  2. 2. Effects of marginal quality water on irrigation water use efficiency and soil salinity.
  3. 3. Economic feasibility.


Expected Outcomes

The project expects to demonstrate the potential for marginal quality water irrigation to produce bioenergy crops on lands with suitable soils. Project deliverables include information on salinity threshold of bioenergy crops, effects of marginal quality water irrigation on soil and shallow groundwater, biomass yield and quality under elevated salinity conditions, and the overall economic feasibility of using marginal quality water for bioenergy production.

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