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Systems for Monitoring and Analytics for Renewable Transportation Fuels from Agricultural Resources and Management (SMARTFARM)


U.S. agriculture has the potential to produce ~5 Quadrillion Btu of energy in the form of biofuels, and with new innovations throughout the biofuel supply chain, these fuels could become carbon negative. Reaching this potential and achieving greater carbon reductions requires that feedstock producers adopt new technologies and management practices that simultaneously improve yield, drive down production associated emissions, and enhance carbon sequestration in soils. To facilitate the adoption of these new technologies and practices for improved carbon management, feedstock producers need incentives beyond yield. While carbon management incentive structures exist elsewhere in the biofuel supply chain, they do not extend to feedstock production because monitoring and verification of feedstock production emissions is too costly to conduct at the field level. Instead, all feedstock producers are assumed to produce the same amount of emissions— the national average —despite significant variations in actual emissions when moving to state or regional averages, let alone field-level estimates. The objective of the SMARTFARM program is to bridge the data gap in the biofuel supply chain by funding the development of technologies that can replace national averages and emissions factors for feedstock-related emissions with field-level estimates. The value of such technologies will be evaluated by their ability to reliably, accurately (i.e. low uncertainty), and cost-effectively quantify feedstock production lifecycle emissions (in g CO2e/acre) at the field level (i.e. scalable to >80 acres).
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