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Potential for Using Sweetgum Plantations as a Biofuel Feedstock in the South Central Region: Productivity, Economics, and Landowner Willingness 


2021 USDA-NIFA Integrated Award


Principal Investigators and affiliations:

PI:  Dr. Omkar Joshi, Oklahoma State University

Co-PI: Dr. Michael Blazier, Louisiana State University AgCenter

             Dr. Rodney Will, Oklahoma State University

             Dr. Lu Zhai, Oklahoma State University

             Dr. Bryan Murray, Oklahoma State University

Funded: $339,348

Start Date: 2/01/2021

End Date: 1/31/2024


Project Goal

To provide scientific information that can help promote hybrid sweetgum as a viable feedstock for biobased industries in the south-central region of the USA.



  1. Determine the productivity of hybrid sweetgum plantations in highly controlled, experimental plantings and in operational plantations.
  2. Determine economic viability of growing hybrid sweetgum plantations.
  3. Understand the factors affecting landowner social acceptance and willingness to invest in hybrid sweetgum plantation.
  4. Conduct geospatial analysis to identify and map geographic areas that are suitable for hybrid sweetgum plantations in the south-central USA.


Expected Project Outcomes

The results of this research will provide information related to the production potential, challenges, and landowner willingness that will help with the successful promotion of hybrid sweetgum as a potential feedstock for biobased industries. A comprehensive economic and social acceptance analysis will be helpful to seek legislative support in the form of tax credits and outreach. Spatial suitability analyses will help extension personnel inform the general public about the where hybrid sweetgum might be established and its potential productivity.  

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