Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde

Sustainable straw use for biofuel production


Grain straw as a non-food product is an interesting option for bioenergy production and a source for additional income for farmers.

In the last years, the grain breeding was focused on the grain yield or corn quality properties.

In order to maintain the grain stability, varieties with stronger and shorter straw were developed. On the other hand, straw as an input material for bioenergy production becomes more and more interesting. But straw is one of the main feedstocks for sustainable soil use in order to reproduce the organic soil content and to protect the humus content of soils.


In organic and conventional farming systems straw is used for livestock bedding and feeding. The additional use for bioenergy production may lead to higher demands. The present project investigates the current regional straw amount of dominant cultivated grain varieties in federal state Brandenburg, Germany. In field and practical trials the increasing use of straw production is analysed. Sustainability criteria and variable site and weather conditions are taken into account.

Main tasks are:

  • Measuring straw yields of relevant grain varieties
  • Defining the demand of straw for humus reproduction and livestock feeding and bedding Investigating site specific parameters concerning straw yield and quality

  • GIS based modelling of sustainable available straw potential in Brandenburg


The main target of the project is the development of management recommendations for farmers as the cultivated grain variety on different sites or the use of growth regulator. These recommendations are aimed to support the production of higher straw amounts and take different site conditions into account.

Beside management recommendation, the investigation of grain and straw amounts enables an upgrade of the humus balancing module of the biomass yield model. Therefore, the variability of both, grain straw indices and technical straw harvesting indices, are investigated.


Dr. Thomas Schatz
phone: +49 (0)30 521 37263
Email: thschatz@gmx.net

Sybille Brozio
phone: +49 (0)3334 65-7446
fax: +49 (0)3334 65-7241
Email: sybille.brozio@hnee.de