Biofuels for the bay: Cellulosic double crops in the Chesapeake watershed

R. Baxter, A. Plakkat, G. Camargo, M. Dubin, C. A. Rotz, G. Roth, T. L. Richard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


For over two decades, technical experts and policy makers have been encouraging the use of cover crops throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed as a way to reduce nutrient and soil losses and improve water quality. While such practices have been heavily adopted in some regions, the economic incentives have been inadequate across much of the watershed. With the advent of demand for cellulosic biomass, there is increasing interest in planting energy crops as double crops, intensifying production while enhancing environmental outcomes from management of existing row crop acres. In this study, we predicted biomass production from a winter rye cover crop on corn grain land and soybean land that did not currently have a small grain winter crop. Based on the 2007 USDA Census of Agriculture, the Chesapeake Bay watershed included 604,600 hectares of corn grain and 431,500 hectares of soybean production, of which approximately 489,500 and 370,300 hectares respectively had no cover crop in 2007. Rye yield was modeled using the Integrated Farm System Model (IFSM) adjusting for different typical planting dates and climate conditions across the region. Within the Chesapeake Watershed, the potential biomass from such a double crop strategy is substantial, on the order of 2 million Mg of rye biomass dry matter, providing a significant contribution to sustainable energy, water, and soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASABE - Bioenergy Engineering Conference 2009
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009
EventBioenergy Engineering Conference 2009 - Bellevue, WA, United States
Duration: Oct 11 2009Oct 14 2009

Publication series

NameASABE - Bioenergy Engineering Conference 2009


OtherBioenergy Engineering Conference 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBellevue, WA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


Dive into the research topics of 'Biofuels for the bay: Cellulosic double crops in the Chesapeake watershed'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this