Title: Investigation on Possibilities for Sustainable Provision of Corn Stover as an Energy Source: Case Study for Vojvodina
Publisher: Shin-Norinsha Co.
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC103700
ISSN: 0084-5841
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC103700
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Corn stover, among other crop residues, is becoming important an energy source, as non food/feed feedstock, especially for biofuels. A problem is to ensure a secure supply, which is influenced by drought. The further requirement is to eliminate or minimize biomass removal impact on soil fertility and erosion. The objective of the investigation was to assess possibilities for sustainable provision of corn stover as an energy source, considering these issues. The investigation is conducted in the province Vojvodina, an agricultural part of Serbia, for seasons 2011 and 2012. Weather in 2011 was dry and in 2012 extremely dry. Stover samples were divided in the following fractions: the lowest 0.2 m, stalk + leaves, cobs and husks. Yields and relative yields of these fractions were calculated and thereafter used to determine the total and usable mass of stover, considering three stover harvest procedures. The on-field remaining mass of stover was used to determine if the prerequisites for conservation soil tillage, i.e. erosion protection, can be achieved. Relative harvestable yields (related to grain yield) for three harvest procedures, and both seasons, were 53, 43, 19% (2011) and 16% (2012). The harvestable mass, i.e. stover yield, in 2012 was, compared with 2011, reduced due to unfavorable weather by 31% for two harvest procedures and even 42% if only cobs are harvested. The on-field remaining mass of stover was sufficient to achieve conservation tillage and protection from soil erosion. Determination of nutrient removal costs can represent significant problem, and results from this investigation may contribute. The potential of corn stover harvestable yield depends on harvest procedure. When developing novel harvest solutions, it is recommendable that they should minimize the reduction of grain harvest productivity and stover contact with soil. This needs further R&D activities.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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