Suitability of North Carolina Piedmont Soils for Bioenergy Crop Production - NC State University

North Carolina's goal to grow and produce 10% of the state's liquid fuels by 2017 will likely constitute production of non-traditional cropping systems.  Since these crops will likely be targeted on marginal lands of limited use for row cropping systems, understanding the effects these alternative systems have on our soils is of utmost importance.  Initial research efforts are underway at NC State University to evaluate performance of many new crops in North Carolina and to develop production practices and recommendations.  However, relatively little effort has targeted the Upper Piedmont Region - an area with large tracts of marginal crop lands.  Continuation and expansion of research to include investigations of system effects on our land base are critical to ensure adoption of appropriate, sustainable, and non-invasive crop systems.  The goal of this project is to investigate the potential conversion of land to bioenergy crops relative to soil biochemical and physical properties.