Grasses and Legumes for Cellulosic Bioenergy

Date
2009-01-01
Authors
Casler, M. D.
Heaton, E.
Heaton, Emily
Shinners, K. J.
Jung, H. G.
Weimer, P. J.
Liebig, M. A.
Mitchell, R. B.
Digman, M. F.
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Agronomy
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Agronomy
Abstract

Human life has depended on renewable sources of bioenergy for many thousands of years, since the time humans fi rst learned to control fi re and utilize wood as the earliest source of bioenergy. The exploitation of forage crops constituted the next major technological breakthrough in renewable bioenergy, when our ancestors began to domesticate livestock about 6000 years ago. Horses, cattle, oxen, water buffalo, and camels have long been used as sources of mechanical and chemical energy. They perform tillage for crop production, provide leverage to collect and transport construction materials, supply transportation for trade and migratory routes, and create manure that is used to cook meals and heat homes. Forage crops—many of which form the basis of Grass: The 1948 Yearbook of Agriculture (Stefferud, 1948), as well as the other chapters of this volume—have composed the principal or only diet of these draft animals since the dawn of agriculture.

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This is a chapter from M. D. Casler, E. Heaton, K. J. Shinners, H. G. Jung, P. J. Weimer, M. A. Liebig, R. B. Mitchell, and M. F. Digman. "Grasses and Legumes for Cellulosic Bioenergy". pp 205-219. In Grassland Quietness and Strength for a New American Agriculture. W. F. Wedin, S. L. Fales, editors, 2009. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI.

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