Bioenergy production from agriculture holds great promise for revitalizing rural American economies! However, a focus on the production potential of small farms must be considered to ensure that they are equally able to benefit as large farms. USDA has recognized this opportunity and has identified the Small Farms Research Center in Booneville, AR as one of five USDA Regional Feedstock Research and Demonstration Centers. Much of the work conducted at the center will be used throughout the Southeast, which is considered by many to be the ‘energy basket’ due to its ability to produce year round crops under rainfed conditions. Much of the research will be devoted to development of cellulose-containing biomass which could be converted to liquid fuels. Oilseed crops will also be investigated as a method of providing locally-produced biodiesel for on-farm use.
· To develop flexible production systems that are able to produce bioenergy crops while providing alternative opportunities for small farms such as cattle and small ruminant production.
· To develop agroforestry systems that include annual, perennial, and woody crops that can be used for bioenergy production and which could potentially be harvested year-round.
· To evaluate cold tolerant crops, like sugarcane, for use in the northwest section of the Southeastern United States.
· University of Arkansas
· University of Missouri
· Arkansas State University
· Auburn University
· Tennessee State University
· AGCO Corporation
· USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center
· USDA Forest Service
· USDA-ARS Laboratories in Tifton, GA; Houma, LA; Temple, TX
THIS RESEARCH WILL IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE FEEDSTOCKS AND PRODUCTION SYSTEMS WHICH CAN BE GROWN PROFITABLY AND SUSTAINABLY BY SMALL FARMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN US.
Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center
6883 So. St. Hwy 23
Booneville, AR 72927