The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted a virtual workshop on April 20–21, 2021, covering the topic of algae crop protection to facilitate scaling of the algae industry. A major barrier to the scaling and intensification of algal cultivation is the partial or complete loss of productivity due to pests, just like traditional farming. Developing effective strategies to maintain harvest yield over time is essential to meeting BETO’s long-term goals of promoting cost competitive biofuels and bioproducts.
The workshop convened experts in algal research and production, as well as from those outside the industry such as regulatory bodies and agriculture/aquaculture experts, to discuss where comparable issues have been solved or solutions are under development, and where areas of synergy may exist.
This workshop explored strategies for reducing the impact of pests on culture stability, biomass quality, and realized productivity. Discussions were facilitated to accomplish the following goals:
- Identify the gaps in current knowledge, research, and technical capabilities
- Foster collaboration between basic, applied, and commercial researchers
- Determine regulatory factors for crop protection at scale
- Establish strategies to overcome technical barriers.
The stakeholder sessions included five expert panel and breakout group discussions:
- Current State of Crop Protection
- Alternative Crop Protection Approaches to Chemicals and Pesticides
- Understanding Pest Life Cycles and Infection Mechanisms
- Current and Future Pest Monitoring Practices
- Developing Scalable, Economic, and Consumer-Accepted Pest Management Practices.
Download the agenda.
Access the workshop presentations.
Workshop Summary Report
Read a brief summary of this workshop.
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