||Three tasks were undertaken to evaluate the production of biomass in
the Midwest/Lake States. The first task was the development of a soil
resource inventory using an automated soil data base and digitized soil maps. The study demonstrates how an automated soil data storage,
retrieval, and display system can be used to predict soil related
problems, to identify areas most suitable for biomass production, and to provide soil data for use in crop simulation models.
A second task involved both field and laboratory (NDF, ADF, ADL,
Kjeldahl nitrogen, and dry ashing) experiments. Fertility levels and
harvest management systems were evaluated for several species on a variety of soil types to ascertain their suitability for production of biomass for conversion to energy.
The final task was to develop a computer program to model biomass
production. Data was collected and a program (HERBIE) which requires
weather, soil survey, soil test, and management data as inputs has been designed. Growth parameters for biomass crops will be part of the model. Outputs will be estimates of biomass yield, including growth curves as a function of time.