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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 937; doi:10.3390/su9060937

Agronomic Factors Affecting the Potential of Sorghum as a Feedstock for Bioethanol Production in the Kanto Region, Japan

1
Division of Crop Production Systems, Central Region Agricultural Research Center, NARO, Tsukuba 305-8666, Japan
2
Department of Farm Labor and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Agricultural Machinery, NARO, Saitama, 331-8537, Japan
3
Division of Lowland Farming, Central Region Agricultural Research Center, NARO, Joetsu 943-0193, Japan
4
Division of Livestock and Grassland Research, Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO, Koshi 861-1192, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Wachendorf
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
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Abstract

In the Kanto region in Japan, the possibilities of running a bio-ethanol plant from rice straw has been assessed and sorghum production has been considered as a necessary part of the system. Two field experiments were conducted in 2012 and 2013 at the NARO—Agricultural Research Center in Tsukuba, Ibaraki to estimate yielding ability of sorghum in the Kanto region. Two cultivars of sweet sorghum and one of grain sorghum were sown using a pneumatic seeder. Above-ground dry matter (DM) yield ranged from 1.03 to 1.82 kg m−2 for the sorgo type cultivars and from 0.70 to 1.18 kg m−2 for the grain type cultivar. The observed yields were lower than the simulated potential yields, i.e., 1.61 to 2.66 kg m−2, indicating that biomass production was restricted in this study. Stem brix values for the sweet sorghum cultivars were generally low (3.3–16.2%) compared with the values reported in the literature. It appears that there is still room to improve the field management of sorghum to minimize the gap between the potential and actual production observed in these experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioethanol; feedstock; the Kanto region; potential yield; sweet sorghum bioethanol; feedstock; the Kanto region; potential yield; sweet sorghum
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Ishikawa, S.; Tsukamoto, T.; Kato, H.; Shigeta, K.; Yakushido, K.-I. Agronomic Factors Affecting the Potential of Sorghum as a Feedstock for Bioethanol Production in the Kanto Region, Japan. Sustainability 2017, 9, 937.

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