LANDSCAPE-BASED CROP MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD, FEED, AND BIOENERGY
Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research
Title: Agronomic and soil management lessons learned planting 13,000 acres of Miscanthus in the U.S. Midwest
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2012
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Citation: Allphin, E.B., Kitchen, N.R., Wilmes, J., Myers, D.B. 2012. Agronomic and soil management lessons learned planting 13,000 acres of Miscanthus in the U.S. Midwest. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. CDROM.
In 2011 USDA approved millions of dollars to stimulate bioenergy production through the USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). Three BCAP projects for the southern edge of the U.S. Corn Belt were awarded to MFA Oil Biomass to assist farmers in northeast Arkansas and central and southwest Missouri in establishing Miscanthus giganteus as a bioenergy crop. Farmers in these areas enrolled about 13,000 acres for miscanthus rhizome planting in the spring of 2012. In most instances the fields enrolled in these BCAPs were poorly-productive cropland, or fields that were pastured or hayed after being in grain production decades before. Evidence of degradation through erosion is extensive on many of the fields. While bioenergy crops have been evaluated extensively on more productive soils, little is known about their establishment, management, and yield performance on degraded soil landscapes. This paper will provide an outline of planting procedures and the agronomic and soil management issues observed from these production-scale planting operations. The observations will be used as a basis for establishing focus areas for future research and extension programs.