Sorghum
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Introduction

The agricultural policy of the European Union includes a commitment to investigate the use of agricultural land for non-food production, such as the growth of biomass crops as a source of renewable energy and renewable sources of raw materials. The sorghum crop model presented here is part of the development work of such an investigation, funded by the European Sorghum Network Contract No. FAIR CT96 1913, to study the environmental impacts of sweet and fibre sorghum inside real cropping systems in the Mediteranean area of Europe. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) [Moench.]) is a C4 plant, with a high net assimilation rate even under high light and water stress conditions and has the potential to produce high yields in fertile soils. The partners of the European Sorghum Network are studying the production and environmental impact of sorghum under field conditions at various sites around southern Europe. However, the long, hot and dry growing season of this area and the potential for loss of soil fertility by poor farming practices and soil erosion necessitates extensive research. Investigations include low input trials and studies of soil erosion, crop rotations, and balances of water, nitrogen, carbon and organic matter.

The sorghum crop model is tested against the data collected from these studies, and will be further developed using future results. The inclusion of a soil nitrogen module, developed by INRA, is planned, with the ultimate aim of producing a model to predict both the potential productivity and the potential environmental impact of sorghum growing at different sites within southern Europe.

The ten partners of the European Sorghum Network are:

1: Istituto di Agronomia, Universitą di Catania, Italy;
2: INRA, Station de Bioclimatologie, Thiverval, Grignon, France;
3: ETSIA, Dept. de Production Vegetal, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain;
4: Agricoltura Biotecnologie, Cervia, Forli', Italy;
5: Center for Renewable Energy Sources, Pikermi, Attiki, Greece;
6: Grupo de Ecologia da Hidrofera, Universidade Nova da Lisboa, Monte de Caperica, Portugal;
7: Istituto Sperimentale Agronomico di Bari, Miraaf, Bari, Italy;
8: Dept. of Biology, University of Essex, Colchester, Great Britain;
9: Istituto di Agronomica, Universitą della Basilicata, Potenza, Italy;
10: Dipartimento di Agronomia, Universitą degli Studi di Bologna, Italy.
 
FILE.GIF (5459 bytes) Interim report on Aspen CO2/Ozone interaction (Word for Windows 97) 1.5 Mb, 04/08/09
FILE.GIF (5459 bytes) WINSORG Application (WINSORG Application) 8.1 Mb, 24/08/09

National and International Sorghum News

http://www.ars-grin.gov/ars/SoAtlantic/Mayaguez/sorghum.html

 

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