Switchgrass for Biofuel Production
Contrary to popular belief, switchgrass is not a new or novel crop but has more than 70 years of research and farming experience. Currently available plant materials and production practices can reliably produce five tons per acre in the central Great Plains and Midwest and 10 tons per acre in much of the Southeast. New cultivars and management practices will significantly increase yields similar to the yield increases achieved in corn in the last 30 years. The availability of adequate acres of agricultural land and the profit potential provided to farmers for growing switchgrass in a region will determine the success of growing switchgrass for biomass energy. Production practices and plant materials are available to achieve sustainable and profitable biomass production, for both farmers and bio-refineries, to help meet the energy requirements of the nation and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.