April No. 1

Agroforestry for Biomass Production - Benefiting Canadians

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Planting fast-growing native willows for biomass production could increase the diversity, profits and viability of farms across Canada, experts say. "Biomass has the potential to make a significant contribution to energy supplies, both nationally and worldwide," says Bill Schroeder, head of research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (AAFC-PFRA) Agroforestry Division's Shelterbelt Centre at Indian Head, Saskatchewan. The AAFC-PFRA Agroforestry Division is partnering in a three-year research project to study short-rotation willow plantations and agroforestry systems for biomass and bioenergy generation. "Our goal is to create agroforestry knowledge for practical use by producers and land managers, so they can manage their land resource sustainably while also benefiting from the production of biomass and its energy potential," says Schroeder.

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UGA forestry study confirms southern pine harvesting residue makes a reliable and affordable feedstock for bio-energy generation

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A study by scientists at the University of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources has confirmed that new methods can successfully harvest significant amounts of forest biomass for energy production from southern pine forests without adversely impacting roundwood (pulpwood and sawtimber) production. Slash, tree tops and limbs that are removed from harvested trees, and forest understory growth are prime examples of forest biomass that have traditionally held zero value. Today, however, members of the forest products industry are beginning to power entire manufacturing plants with this raw material. They can even generate excess electricity that they sell to local utilities.

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