development centers in the Pacific Northwest (poplars), Southeast (switchgrass), and Midwest/Plains States (switchgrass and poplars), where breeding to select for higher yields and other desirable traits is linked closely with studies on management, physiology, growth-limiting factors, and advanced biotechnology. Fields studies to evaluate nutrient effects on carbon sequestration and storage will provide additional vital information on energy crops.



Environmental Effects of Energy Crop Deployment

Research to evaluate the effects of large scale deployment of energy crops on the environment, such as water and soil quality, chemical fates, and biodiversity will provide credible data that could be used to guide deployment in a manner that ensures energy and environmental benefits.



Energy Crop Seedling/Planting Stock Selection Research

Advanced biotechnology and other methods will develop techniques that can be used to select energy crop seedlings or other planting stocks that are less susceptible to disease and/or pest, reducing the risk of mortality and increasing technical/economic viability. Desirable genotypes of switchgrass will be selected, propagated, and transferred to greenhouse/field tests to verify the selection process.



Large Scale Woody Crop Plantation Research

Research will be conducted to develop and evaluate management techniques to overcome the water use efficiency constraints in the Southeast. Technical assistance and cost sharing will be provided for existing large scale plantings in the Midwest/North Central region to obtain performance and cost data.



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