||Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 18, 2008—Sorghum's potential as a biofuel crop
will be explored at the International Workshop on Sorghum for Biofuels
which begins in Houston, Texas, tomorrow. More than 100 international
experts from government, academia, the private sector and the
agricultural community are expected to participate in the conference.
U.S. co-sponsors of the event include the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission
area, Texas A&M University (TAMU), and the National Sorghum
Producers (NSP). Other co-sponsors include Brazil’s Empresa Brasileira
de Pesquisa Agropecuaria (EMBRAPA), the International Crops Research
Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and Tsinghua University,
which is located in the Peoples’ Republic of China.
“U.S. consumers know that we need to develop new sources of energy to
meet our transportation needs,” said REE Under Secretary Gale A.
Buchanan. “Growing sorghum for bioenergy production can give us a
source of renewable--and profitable--energy right here at home.”
Sorghum is attracting greater interest as a bioenergy crop because it
is tolerant of drought and grows well on marginal lands not suitable
for most other crops. It produces high yields even after an abbreviated
production cycle, and requires minimal amounts of fertilizer and
irrigation. Scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a
USDA scientific research agency, are part of the international research
community studying sorghum genetics and genomics, production systems
and conversion processes to optimize biofuel production.
At the workshop, attendees will share information about key scientific
advances supporting the economically viable and environmentally
sustainable production and utilization of sorghum as a bioenergy crop.
Participants also will be able to visit TAMU and learn more about
ongoing research on bioenergy feedstock and development. Site visits
also will be available to Jennings, La., where Verenium Corporation has
broken ground for a 1.4-million-gallon-per-year demonstration
cellulosic ethanol facility, the first of its kind in the United States.
Opening remarks will be given by Mark Hussey, interim vice chancellor
and dean of the TAMU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and also
director of Texas AgriLife Research; USDA Under Secretary Buchanan, and
Liu Yanhau, vice minister of the People’s Republic of China Ministry of
Science and Technology. Other speakers on the agenda include
representatives from the NSP, USDA, ARS, the U.S. Department of Energy
and the TAMU Agricultural and Food Policy Center.
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Ann Perry, (301) 504-1628, [email protected]
August 18, 2008
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr
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