With an eye to the future of bioenergy, the LSU AgCenter will offer four workshops for forest landowners and agricultural producers to help them identify opportunities in emerging markets for converting wood or agricultural crops into energy.

With a climate and soils capable of quickly growing a wide variety of crops and forests, Louisiana has great potential to expand its energy portfolio with production of biofuels, electricity and pellets made from forests and other plant biomass, said Rich Vlosky, director of the LSU AgCenter Louisiana Forest Products Development Center in the School of Renewable Resources. 

The workshops, which will be held during November, will include information on bioenergy and biofuel production options, potential economic effects of bioenergy in Louisiana, landowner and policy-maker perceptions of bioenergy markets and management issues for forests and cropland. 

Two workshops will focus on forest production and two will focus on agricultural crops.

The forest workshops are scheduled for Nov. 2 at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station in Hammond and Nov. 15 at the Dean Lee Research Station south of Alexandria. The sessions will provide information on potential opportunities for forest landowners interested in woody biomass obtained from thinning conventional forests, raising fast-growing trees for energy and collecting post-harvest residue for various energy products.

The agriculture workshops are scheduled for Nov. 3 at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley and Nov. 29 at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro. These workshops will provide information on potential opportunities for agricultural producers interested in emerging markets for biofuels produced from agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops.

Times for all workshops are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendance is free, and lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required and limited to 120 attendees for each workshop. Registration for all workshops begins Oct. 3 and will continue until the maximum of 120 is reached.

To register or obtain additional information about these workshops, contact LSU AgCenter forestry specialist Michael Blazier at mblazier@agcenter.lsu.edu or (318) 927-2578, extension 204.