Maximising the yield of agricultural crop residues

and biomass from forestry

Published: 13/06/2016

There is a huge potential for yield increase of agricultural crop residues and biomass from forestry in the European Union, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. A stepwise approach was used to identify the realistic potential in these regions, starting with an estimate of the theoretical potential based on crop- and forest-type specific best practices for yield increase, which is then narrowed down to a technical-sustainable potential. Ecofys developed and assessed best practice strategies for residue yield increase with regard to their feasibility of application in the EU, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Realistic potential from agricultural crop residues and biomass from forestry (c) Ecofys by order of European Commission

The best practice strategies we developed for each agriculture crop are specific to residue recovery rate and harvest technology. We also created best practice strategies to increase actual yield for a specific crop, including measures on crop variety, fertilisation, crop protection, cultivation practices, crop rotation and other management practices. Best practice strategies for forests included measures on different levels: species level, site level, forest stand level, forest Management level, forest operations level.

The study also identified barriers that limit the realistic potential further by either preventing or reducing the impact of best practice strategies.  In that, all barriers are caused by regional aspects, e.g. policies, social acceptance or regional economic resources. Ecofys has developed policy recommendation for the European Commission to overcome these barriers.

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Matthias Spöttle
Urban Energy
Straw  (c) Stüber