EVALUATING PERENNIAL GRASS CULTIVARS FOR THEIR USE AS BIOMASS ENERGY CROPS IN MISSOURI
Location: Grain, Forage & Bioenergy Research
Project Number: 5440-21000-030-09
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: May 01, 2012
End Date: Apr 30, 2013
An objective of the CENUSA project is to obtain adaptation and biomass yield and quality information on perennial grasses grown for biomass energy in the Midwest, USA. To achieve this objective, uniform field evaluations of advanced experimental strains (candidate cultivars) and previously released cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass need to be conducted throughout the CenUSA or Midwest region. One set of trials will be planted in spring 2012 and another set will be planted in spring 2014 when additional candidate cultivars are available. The specific objective of this agreement is to evaluate experimental strains and cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass in South Dakota for use as biomass energy crops.
Experimental stains and previously released cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass will be evaluated in replicated small plot sward trials at each location. The procedures used in the research will be similar to those described by Casler et al., 2007 (Crop Science 47:2249-2260). Specific protocols using best management practices and other experimental procedures and plans will be provided by the ARS cooperator. Separate trials will be planted for each species with the exception of prairie cordgrass, which will be included with another species. The trials will have 20 to 30 switchgrass entires, 10 to 20 big bluestem and indiangrass entries and about 5 prairie cordgrass entries. Year 1 will be the establishment year. Biomass yields, stands, and quality samples will be obtained in Year 2,3, and 4.for each set of trials.