Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 WWCC College Catalog 
2023-2024 WWCC College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

AGSC 121 - Biomass Feedstock Management

Credits: 3
LEC hours per week: 2
LAB hours per week: 2
Learn about growing, harvesting, storage, processing, and utilization of biomass such as: manure, forest slash, food waste, agriculture residues, wood processing residues, and dedicated energy crops (e.g. oilseeds, grasses, hybrid poplar, etc.). Review technologies that can utilize biomass to sequester carbon and generate electricity, heat, transportation fuels, recovered nutrients/soil amendments, reclaimed water, animal feed, bio-chemicals, and other byproducts. Lay the groundwork for soil fertility studies for oilseed crops and field corn amended with biochar, compost, and/or digestate from an anaerobic digester. Formerly: AGPR 121.
Recommended: Recommended for students working towards Biomass Feedstock Management Certificate, Plant and Soil Science, and/or Precision Agriculture degree(s).
Course Outcomes:
  • Describe the challenges and advantages of farming practices used for annual, perennial, and woody biomass.
  • Identify biomass crops and explain their uses, advantages, disadvantages, processing needs, and best conversion processes.
  • Explain water demands of each crop, identify when the demands are highest, and describe how water can be applied.
  • Define each biomass type’s different rotations and management needs, land use commitments, yield, value, life cycle analysis, and nutrient/chemical needs and resulting environmental impact.
  • Explain the challenges of producing, managing, and transporting various biomass crops.
  • Evaluate potential biorefinery sites using interactive web-based tools.
Course Topics:
  1. Climate change and other factors driving development of biomass utilization
  2. Government drivers and economic factors
  3. Dryland vs. irrigated agriculture
  4. Review of biomass types and appropriate conversion technologies
  5. Climate change factors affecting farming practices in the Northwest
  6. Crop-by-crop analysis of input needs and processing considerations