Agricultural Biomass

For this biomass resource assessment, the total amount of residues typically generated and left in the field (after harvest) has been estimated for each of the major crops produced in Arkansas as shown below. In each case, the estimated quantities are based on applying a calculated factor to crop production (i.e., harvested) data. The six major field crops produced in Arkansas include corn, cotton, rice, sorghum, soybeans and wheat.

Field Residue data is available for the following crops:

  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • Rice Sorghum
  • Soybeans
  • Wheat

The base crop production (harvested) data is from from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (more specifically from NASS' 2002 Census of Agriculture, which provides production data by county - refer to: www.nass.usda.gov/Census_of_Agriculture/index.asp.

For this assessment, the crop production data from NASS has been adjusted to reflect crop yields as reported by the University of Arkansas Extension Service. Details of these yield adjustments are set forth in the 'assumptions' worksheet.

For each crop, the adjusted crop production data was converted from the as reported units into tons, using the bulk density figures and/or other conversion factors set forth in the 'assumptions' worksheet.

For each crop, the adjusted crop production data in tons/county/year was then calculated in dry tons/county/year, based on assumed moisture contents of each crop (the source of assumed moisture content for each crop as harvested is set forth in the 'assumptions' worksheet). (Note: The adjustments to reflect moisture content as harvested reflect the fact that NASS' surveys and producer responses do not attempt to estimate the moisture content of the harvested material but simply report the quantities on an "as harvested" basis. Accordingly, more accurate estimates of field residue production data in Arkansas would necessitate field verification of residue quantity and moisture content for each crop and for each production region.)
Although a portion of this organic and biodegradable material needs to be left on the field or worked into the soil for fertility, water-holding capacity, erosion control, or other reasons, some of the material could be removed for other uses. Of course, even where agronomic considerations may support collection and removal of a certain amount of field residues, the economics of such activities may not necessarily be feasible and should also be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Processing residues: Residues from crop processing include the various residuals and by-products generated during the processing of agricultural crops. Such organic and biodegradable materials could include: husk, shells, or other outer layers; pieces of stem, straw, or plant material; damaged, immature, or excessively small pieces of product or other types of culled material; and various other liquid and/or dry wastes or by-products from primary or secondary processing activities.

For this biomass resource assessment, only the principal processing residues associated with two major crops produced and processed in Arkansas - cotton and rice - have been considered and estimated (i.e., no data was obtained on cannery wastes, meat processing wastes, food/feed processing wastes, or fruit, nut, or vegetable residuals or by-products). Since processing residues are generated at a "point source" it is assumed that all of the processing residues can be considered "usable" from a bioenergy perspective (although the economics of utilization will, of course, be situation-specific).

Rice husk: Specific information re rice husk production/utilization at each rice mill in Arkansas is considered proprietary and therefore not estimated nor reflected in this assessment (the data in this assessment simply reflects a husk production factor applied to harvested rice data for each county reporting rice production). Information re individual millers in Arkansas may be obtained from www.usarice.com/about/suppliers.html.

Cotton gin trash: Specific information re cotton gin trash production/utilization at each cotton gin in Arkansas is considered proprietary and therefore not estimated nor reflected in this assessment (the data in this assessment simply reflects a gin trash production factor applied to harvested cotton data for each county reporting cotton production). Information re individual ginners in Arkansas may be obtained by contacting the Southern Cotton Ginners Association.

Corn

Corn Production and Residues by County

Corn Production

Corn In-Field Residues

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Cotton

Cotton Production and Residues by County

Cotton Production

Cotton In-Field Residues

Cotton Processing Residues

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Rice

Rice Production and Residues by County

Rice Production

Rice In-Field Residues

Rice Processing Residues

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Sorghum

Sorghum Production and Residues by County

Sorghum Production

Sorghum In-Field Residues

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Soybeans

Soybean Production and Residues by County

Soybean Production

Soybean In Field Residues

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Wheat

Wheat Production and Residues by County

Wheat Production

Wheat In Field Residues

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  • Crops