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Project Details

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Agricultural benefits of green manuring leaf biomass from bioenergy crops
Summary This project falls within the key strategy of exploring new industry options for farmers and regions. It will asssess a feedstock production system which will complement food production and enhance the sustainability of soil, water and biodiversity.
Program Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Energy
Research organisation University of Western Australia
Objective summary The aim is to develop robust farming systems which benefit from the synergies of integrating the production of conventional broadacre crops and new biofuel crops. This project will do this by providing new information to researchers and biofuel producers and users regarding the coppicing/suckering abilities and growth of the four subspecies of the prospective biofuel crop Acacia saligna. It will also assess the feasibility of using the less desirable leaf fraction of woody biofuel feedstocks as green manures. If feasible green manuring the leaf fraction of woody biomass crops could maintain soil fertility, reduce the cost of fertiliser inputs (both dollars and carbon), reduce nutrient losses compared to conventional agriculture and improve the utility of the woody fraction of biofuel crops.

In the case of a coppiced short rotation woody crop (Eucalyptus polybractea) the benefits of spreading the leaf material on agricultural land or over the coppicing stumps will be assessed in terms of crop and tree growth, soil fertility and carbon flux. In the case of a leguminous woody phase crop (Acacia saligna), the benefits will be assessed in terms of subsequent agricultural crop production, soil fertility and nutrient and carbon fluxes .
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Friday, June 05, 2009
Project completion date Monday, December 31, 2012
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority An environmentally sustainable Australia
Rural priority Adoption of R&D
RIRDC goal BBE-Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Energy
Principal researcher Robert Sudmeyer
Research manager Duncan Farquhar
Admin contact Christine Casey