Posted on Dec 01, 2009
Various agencies and industries have identified sorghum as the primary annual dedicated herbaceous bioenergy crop for second generation biofuel production in the U.S. While yield is a major factor measuring energy potential on a per acre basis, composition also influences the yield of bioenergy produced. Animal feeders have long known that forage sorghums differ in their feeding quality; hence they developed methods of measuring such quality that have been used for many years. Unfortunately, these estimates of forage quality do not relate well to the composition standards required bioenergy conversion. They tend to overestimate some components and underestimate others. To alleviate that problem, the initial biochemical composition analyses are being completed, which allows for the systematic comparison of forage composition with biochemical composition. The objective of this proposal is to compare and analyze a set of sorghum biomass samples using both techniques and to develop, if possible, an approach to effectively estimate biochemical composition from the existing forage quality data. This will allow us to utilize a significant and valuable existing resource to optimize sorghum composition for bioenergy production.