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Welcome to the web home for Field, Lab, Earth, the podcast from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. The podcast all about past and present advances in agronomic, crop, soil, and environmental sciences, our show features timely interviews with our authors about research in these fields.

Field, Lab, Earth releases on the third Friday of each month in addition to the occasional bonus episode. If you enjoy our show, please be sure to tell your friends and rate and review. If you have a topic, author, or paper you would like featured or have other feedback, please contact us on Twitter @fieldlabearth or use the email icon below. You can join our newsletter to receive notifications about new episodes and related resources here.

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May 3, 2024

Comparative productivity of six bioenergy cropping systems on marginal lands in the Great Lakes Region, USA” with Dileepa Jayawardena.

Bioenergy crops present a promising source for biofuel production, offering a potential solution to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. However, they face criticism for potentially encroaching on arable land essential for food production to sustain growing populations. To address this issue, there is a growing focus on utilizing marginal lands for growing bioenergy crops, which are less suitable for crop production. Marginal lands typically suffer from poor soil health and low nutrient and water availability. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and develop bioenergy crops that can thrive in such conditions and produce biomass for biofuel production while also confirming which marginal lands are best suited to these uses.  In this episode, Dileepa Jayawardena, a Research Associate at The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, sheds light on his research aimed at finding suitable bioenergy cropping systems for marginal lands in Michigan and Wisconsin for producing biomass for long-term bioenergy production while minimizing the competition of land for food crops. 

Tune in to learn more about

·         What are bioenergy crops?

·         What is the importance of bioenergy crops?

·         Why marginal lands can be suitable for bioenergy crops?

·         Which cropping system is better for marginal lands?

·         How to make sustainable biofuel production?

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here:

This paper is always freely available.

Contact us at or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe. If you’d like to see old episodes or sign up for our newsletter, you can do so here:

If you would like to reach out to Dileepa Jayawardena, you can find them here:

If you would like to reach out to Anthony Mirabito, you can find him here:


 CEU Quiz: 


Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center:

Special thanks to Om Prakash Ghimire for help on the shownotes and other assets.

Field, Lab, Earth is Copyrighted by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.