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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Farm Energy

Recent price increases and volatility in the energy market serve as a reminder of the level of dependence modern farming systems have on fossil energy resources, and have prompted a new wave of analysis and research on farm energy use and efficiency. While the Pacific Northwest has a competitive advantage over most of the world in high quality, inexpensive electrical power and a climate that reduces our need for thermal energy for grain drying, we are largely dependent on imported sources of fuel and fertilizers. In addition, the increase of crops grown for biofuel production has prompted questions about the net energy production of this energy source and the on- and off-farm effects of biofuel production. We are conducting research related to reducing tillage-related fuel expenditures, alternative fertilizers, improved efficiency in the use of fuel and fertilizers, and farm energy assessments.

 

Featured Publications

Advancing Organics Management in Washington State: The Waste to Fuels Technology Partnership 2015-2017 Biennium

Chen, S., Frear, C., Garcia-Pérez, M., Kruger, C., Ewing, T., Jensen, J., Yorgey, G., Gang, D.R., Amonette, J., Ayiania, M., Berim, A., Botella, L., Carbajal Gamarra, F.M., Cleary, J., Dunsmoor, A., Finch, R.W., Fuchs, M., Haghighi Mood, S., Hall, S.A., Han, Y., Jobson, B.T., Long, R., Ma, J., Mainali, K., Moller, D., Neuenschwander, L., Seker, A., Sjoding, D., Stankovikj, F., Suliman, W., Tanzil, A., Terrell, E., Tran, C-C., Xiong, X., Yu, L. 2018. Compiled and edited by Hills, K., Hall, S.A., Saari, B., Zimmerman, T. Waste 2 Resources, Washington State Department of Ecology Publication No. 18-07-010. Olympia, Washington. 424 pp. June 2018.

Organic Farming Footprints

WSU webpage for the OFoot project, working to provide a scientifically sound yet simple estimation of the carbon and nitrogen sequestration and net greenhouse gas (GHG) balance likely in a given organic cropping system scenario.

Agricultural Efficiency – WSU Extension Energy Program webpage

The WSU Energy Program offers information, education and tools to help reduce energy use in the agriculture sector. Farmers and ranchers use energy directly to operate machinery or equipment and to heat, cool, light and ventilate buildings. They also use energy indirectly through fertilizers and other products that are integral to production or processing.

 

Additional Publications

Dairy Waste Biorefinery

Kennedy, N., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, C. Kruger, and S. Chen. 2013. Concept illustration and description.

Organic Waste Biorefinery

Kennedy, N., C. Frear, M. Garcia-Perez, C. Kruger, and S. Chen. 2013. Concept illustration and description.

Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond Waste Management

May 2013. CSANR produced a 7.5 minute video showing how state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems can offer multiple benefits to society.

Extracting valuable energy, carbon and nutrient resources from organic waste

WSU scientists have conducted extensive research on Anaerobic Digestion (AD) as a technology for recovery of methane (energy), stable carbon, and nutrients from organic wastes such as manure, food processing wastes and the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes (OFMSW). Our research has evaluated the technical and economic performance of commercially available systems, developed improved AD reactors, and commercialized WSU patented nutrient recovery technology. This webinar, presented by CSANR director Chad Kruger and CSANR scientist Craig Frear, will provide an update on the latest results from the WSU Climate Friendly Farming Project’s AD research.

Site-Specific N Management for Direct-Seed Cropping Systems

Chapter 16 in Climate Friendly Farming: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Full report available at http://csanr.wsu.edu/pages/Climate_Friendly_Farming_Final_Report/.

Yield, Protein and Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Spring Wheat: Evaluating Field-Scale Performance

Chapter 17 in Climate Friendly Farming: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Full report available at http://csanr.wsu.edu/pages/Climate_Friendly_Farming_Final_Report/.

Bioenergy as an Agricultural GHG Mitigation Strategy in Washington State

Chapter 22 in Climate Friendly Farming: Improving the Carbon Footprint of Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Full report available at http://csanr.wsu.edu/pages/Climate_Friendly_Farming_Final_Report/.

Reusing Plastic Nursery Containers – May 2009

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Dryland Cereal Crops With Precision Nitrogen Management Technology – Fall 2008

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Does Organic Farming Use Less Energy?

Presentation at the ACEEE national meeting on agriculture and energy, February 2008, Des Moines, IA.


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