You are hereField Sites
This COBS Field Site seeks to provide comprehensive comparisons of contrasting biomass feedstock production systems with respect to biomass production potential, fossil fuel replacement value, impacts on soil and water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, belowground C sequestration, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. This is a large project that involves collaboration of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and economists at Iowa State University and Southern Illinois University. The project affords a unique opportunity to test questions about biomass feedstock production that are critical to crop producers, crop processors, and policy makers.
The COBS Field Site is located on the South Reynoldson Farm near Madrid, IA. The study site includes 6 cropping system treatments: continuous corn (Zea mays), corn/soybean, corn with rye winter cover crop, native tallgrass prairie, and fertilized native tallgrass prairie. All treatments are managed without tillage. Four replicate blocks contain 6 plots, 1 of each planting treatment in a randomized complete block design. Each plot is 27 m x 61 m. The experiment was initiated in 2008. Data from this research will be integrated with additional projects being conducted at the COBS site including aboveground plant community data, belowground root data, soil gas and water diffusion data, and hydrologic data.
The Uthe Research and Demonstration Farm is located in Boone County, Iowa and is part of the Landscape Biomass Project. The goal of the Landscape Biomass Project is to develop, refine, and implement a portfolio of sustainable bioenergy feedstock production systems that together contribute significantly to reducing dependence on foreign oil; have net positive social, environmental, and rural economic impacts; and are compatible with existing agricultural systems. To accomplish this goal, we are developing several alternative biomass cropping systems and comparing them to a conventional continuous corn system. Alternative cropping systems were chosen because of their potential to provide:
•Superior biomass yields (Triticale /Sorghum);
•Some biomass yield while mitigating some negative environmental impacts (Corn-Soy-Triticale/Soy and Corn-Switchgrass); or
•Some short-term biomass yield and superior long-term yield while strongly mitigating negative environmental impacts (Triticale/ Trees).
As crop performance is strongly tied to site factors, we are evaluating these biomass cropping systems across a series of landscape positions (Fig. 2). Our results will eventually allow for optimized bioenergy feedstock production across agricultural landscapes.
Landscape Biomass Project Website: http://www.nrem.iastate.edu/landscape/projects/ls_biomass/ls_biomass.htm