NEWBio Feedstock Improvement Team Breeds Better Switchgrass and Willow for the Bioeconomy

Breeding new perennial grass varieties of willow and switchgrass with useful bioenergy traits for the Northeast drives NEWBio team.

Shrub willow
Shrub Willow Canopy. Photo credit: Armen Kemanian.

 

Perennial crops dedicated to biomass production are just starting to be developed.  Most existing varieties of potential feedstock crops, such as switchgrass, have been bred for use as forage or conservation. But new varieties with traits that bioenergy producers require, especially high yields of biomass, will be a boon to a growing bioenergy industry. …

Research Summary: What Would it Take to Convince Farmers to Grow Switchgrass for Biomass?

Researchers delve into the economic incentives that would induce farmers to grow switchgrass for cellulosic biofuel.

 

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Abstract

A survey of crop farmers in the North-Central region of the United States finds that they would ask for an average of $230 per acre, or about $82 per dry ton, to …

Research Summary: Overview of Comparative Injury Risk Between Annual Corn and Perennial Switchgrass Production

A probabilistic risk assessment model has been created to compare estimated worker injury risk of corn vs switchgrass production.

 

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Switchgrass is a perennial crop alternative for biofuel production on marginal land in the U.S. Cornbelt.  Estimating change in worker injury risk moving from corn to switchgrass production would be …

Research Summary: Switchgrass Hay Utillization as Roughage in Beef Diets

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Switchgrass Hay Could Be a Useful Roughage in Beef Diets While Offering a Market Alternative to Biofuels.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Feedlots could use hay from perennial grasses such as switchgrass as an additional source of roughage in beef rations, at the same time providing a needed alternative market for producers who …

FAQs about Perennial Grass (Switchgrass) Production for Biofuels


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

 

Switchgrass a source of biomass energy
Switchgrass. Photo: Dennis Pennington, Bioenergy Educator, Michigan State University.

Establishment and Management of Native Warm-Season Grasses for Bioenergy and Forage

Bioenergy Curriculum graphic

This Establishment and Management of Native Warm-Season Grasses for Bioenergy and Forage module is part of the Biomass Energy Training Curriculum, 13 modules developed through a Southern SARE grant and collaboration between Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee, eXtension.org, and USDA-Rural Development. While it is written as a training guide for TN producers, much of the information is applicable throughout the Southeastern US region.

This curriculum is designed to increase the knowledge base of extension agents and local

Evaluation of Anthracnose Severity on Switchgrass Cultivars and Accessions

Anthracnose may significantly decrease biomass yield of switchgrass. Research explores tolerance of cultivars to Colletotrichum navitas.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Anthracnose (caused by Colletotrichum navitas) may negatively impact biomass yield of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), often grown for bioenergy purposes. Consequently, evaluating cultivar and accession response to anthracnose is crucial for maximizing production efficiency and developing cultivars …

Research Summary: Biofuel Quality Improved by Delaying Harvest of Perennial Grass

Research shows how a simple management strategy can decrease nitrogen contaminants in perennial grasses, while also providing additional ecosystem services.

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Switchgrass Harvest
Photo: Rob Mitchell, USDA-ARS.

Abstract

Nitrogen ash and other mineral matter can be a problem in processing perennial grasses into biofuel through the fast pyrolysis method. Delaying biomass harvest …

Ernst Conservation Seeds Transforms Leftover Biomass into Energy Product

Switchgrass biomass left over after seed harvest had little value for Ernst Conservation Seeds until the company began using it to manufacture pellets.

Switchgrass pellets. Photo credit: Calvin Ernst.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Ernst Conservation Seeds in Meadville, Pennsylvania has been growing and marketing grass seed for more than fifty …

Research Summary: Competition For Land Use—Why Would a Rational Producer Grow Switchgrass for Biofuel?

Farmers value the conservation and environmental benefits of switchgrass grown for biofuels but also consider profit, alternative land uses, and public policy incentives when making production decisions.

 

Sponsoring Partner

CenUSA-Logo
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents

Abstract

Switchgrass production must compete with other potential land uses and be profitable for growers, and biofuel markets for perennial grasses …