NC Bioenergy Research, New and Emerging Crops, Grant Recipients Announced

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

NC Hemp-related Projects Receive $263,519

The North Carolina Bioenergy Research and New and Emerging Crops Initiative recently awarded almost $1 million in grants for nine 2018-2019 projects to boost bioenergy opportunities and crop production in the state.

Said NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler:

“These grants will allow us to expand our knowledge of bioenergy practices and crop potential in North Carolina, creating future market opportunities for farmers, agribusinesses and forestry industries. Research will help us develop these types of new opportunities and markets.”

Below is a list of grant amounts, recipients and projects for the Bioenergy Research Initiative:

  • $133,190 to NC State University’s Department of Forest Biomaterials for a two-year project titled Populus-based Production of Solid Biofuels. The objectives of this project are to develop a novel pre-process for pellet production and evaluate the potential of utilizing highly productive Populus clones that are suitable as a feedstock for the next generation of solid fuels.
  • $144,711 to NCSU’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department for a project titled Potential for Integrating Swine Lagoon Sludge into the NC Bioenergy Sector.  This two-year project will develop and evaluate the performance of sludge removal and drying systems and characterize the removed, dried sludge as a soil amendment and as a combustion feedstock.
  • $85,400 to Carolina Land & Lakes RC&D for Pellets for Pullets — Extension 2018-19 extends a previously funded project.  This funding will be utilized to install an additional wood pellet heating system on three existing farms to increase accuracy of data collection.  These heating systems have been shown to offer cost savings, reduction in moisture and fossil fuel by-products and delivery of a better product to market, while utilizing a renewable domestic fuel.
  • $151,900 to Carolina Land & Lakes RC&D for Pellets for Pullets-Laurinburg Plant — builds on previously funded projects in the upper mountain region of our state.  Fourteen broiler houses will be retrofitted with two pellet fired furnaces on seven farms, six in six North Carolina counties and one in South Carolina.  This project will increase the data collection accuracy of the overall project and support the pellet industry in the Laurinburg area.

Below is a list of grant amounts, recipients and projects for New and Emerging Crops Program:

  • $107,757 to NCSU’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources to fund The Silviculture of Populus for Veneer.  Hybrid poplar clones suitable for veneer have been identified as a result of research conducted in previously funded Bioenergy Research Initiative projects. The goals of this New and Emerging Crops project are to study the feasibility and development of Populus plantations for veneer production and develop Silviculture recommendations and enterprise budgets for such plantations.
  • $74,283 to NCSU’s Department of Horticultural Science to fund Optimal Hemp Planting and Harvest DatesThis project will help identify the ideal planting and harvest periods for optimizing floral yield of industrial hemp grown in outdoor production systems.  The much-needed production information generated from this study will be disseminated through reports, scientific and extension publications, and through field days where growers will have the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experience.
  • $113,523 to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for a project titled Feasibility of Purple Carrot Production.  A potential marketing opportunity exists for food ingredient crops to be grown and used for natural food colorants.  This project will address the feasibility of North Carolina producers to grow a high-yielding purple carrot variety that is of favorable extraction quality to the natural food colorant industry.   This will be accomplished by identifying top performing varieties, evaluating the best soil types and growing locations for production, determining the optimal planting and harvest periods, and evaluating colorant quality of top performing varieties.
  • $105,305 to NCSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for a project titled Nitrogen and Potassium Rates for Industrial Hemp Production.  North Carolina growers have an immediate need for research-based fertility recommendations for industrial hemp grown for CBD.  The goals of this project are to develop nitrogen and potassium fertility recommendations to maximize yield, establish plant tissue nitrogen and potassium sufficiency ranges, and evaluate if nitrogen, potassium and plant maturity impact floral tissue chemistry.
  • $83,931 to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center to fund Hemp Fungal Disease Management.  North Carolina producers growing industrial hemp for CBD have experienced significant crop losses due to disease.  Disease management using cultural practices has been ineffective and there are currently limited fungicide control options. This project will evaluate the impacts of several biological, organic and conventional fungicides on disease control, yield, and CBD oil quality.  Results from this study will be used to support an IR-4 study to obtain fungicide registrations for use in this new and emerging crop.

Total grants: $886,477. More than 29% of the grant monies went to industrial hemp projects.


Source: NCDA&CS Bioenergy Research Initiative / New and Emerging Crops Program

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