Growing Grain, Forage and/or Ethanol Feedstock

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Grant Recipient: Purdue University
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Dennis Buckmaster
Purdue University
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Herbert Ohm
Purdue University
Dr. Lori Snyder
Purdue University
Dr. Tony Vyn
Purdue University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, sorghum (milo), soybeans, wheat


  • Animal Production: stockpiled forages
  • Crop Production: cover crops, double cropping, multiple cropping, no-till
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Energy: bioenergy and biofuels
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, whole farm planning
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    This project explores the agronomic, economic, and environmental facets of crop rotations utilizing a winter wheat as the base grain or cover crop when production goals include optimizing annual crop combinations for utilization by livestock or in ethanol manufacturing. Field experiments will be conducted of various wheat/double crop rotations: grain production in wheat, sorghum, corn and soybean, and silage yield and quality of corn, sorghum and sweet sorghum. Winter wheat will be harvested for biomass at two early dates, (heading and mid-grain fill) and at full maturity for grain with the straw later harvested for biomass. Following each wheat biomass harvest date, sorghum, corn, and soybean will be no-till planted into the wheat stubble. These double crops will be harvested for biomass and forage quality analyses at silage maturity or at full maturity for grain. Forage quality analysis on ensiled biomass will include aerobic stability, crude protein, fiber, and lignin analyses, and mineral content. This will produce quantifiable quality data for determining the economic value of the products produced. An economic model for optimizing returns from double crop rotations will be developed to assess the overall profitability of a representative farm. The results of this research will provide county educators and farmers useful data for recommending new or modified cropping systems to produce grain, feed and/or biofuel in response to specific market constraints. The system here described will encourage farmers to diversify their production portfolios. The double cropping systems established by this experiment will provide producers with appropriate decision tools for mid-season flexibility to producers in response to economic triggers such as fluctuating grain, forage, and feedstock prices

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objective is to create outreach presentations and written materials for farmers and County Extension faculty by hosting various Field Days and generating Extension publications. The longer term outcome of this project will be the development of more diverse and integrated crop rotations in the eastern cornbelt.

    Comprehensive data set reflecting yield and forage quality of double-crop products

    Presentation of results at meetings: ASA-CSSA-SSSA

    Development of economic yield prediction model

    Publications will be generated for Crop Science, Agricultural Economics, Extension, and Animal Science journals

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.