Larger Harvests with Cultivation Year Round
While climate scenarios are uncertain, there are a lot of indicates to suggest that the climate in North America is becoming less stable and the weather less predictable. Less stability and predictability not only make it more difficult to plan your family day out, but it also increases risk for arable farming both within Canada and the USA.
Aware of ever increasing risks to farming, research is underway to find ways to introduce more flexible cultivation systems. These two-crop systems enable farmers to spread risk by growing multiple crops; thus making farmers less vulnerable to failure of one particular crop. Two-crop systems mean that maximum use is made of the growing season and that two crops are harvested – one in the autumn and one in the spring.
Both crops grown during the winter and summer are harvested green for use in biomass renewable energy production, or one crop can be harvested for food. As interest in North America for biomass renewable energy crops grows, this type of research provides a solution to the ‘Fuel vs Food’ debate, as with the two-crop system every hectare of cultivated land provides a larger harvest; reducing competition for land between biomass renewable energy crops and food crops.
Now researchers at JTI hope to take trials of the two-crop system a step further by working out locally adapted sustainable systems for biomass renewable energy crop production. This research will test various combinations of crops under different climatic conditions to identify the most profitable crop combinations and establish best times for sowing and harvesting. Growth models will then be used to make the results valid for any area in North America.
For more information about two-crop system research, or if you have any questions regarding biomass renewable energy, please Contact Us