Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED FORAGE AND BIOENERGY PLANTS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE CENTRAL USA

Location: Grain, Forage & Bioenergy Research

Title: Effects of Harvest Date and Bale Format on Switchgrass Biomass Loss During Storage

Authors
item Mitchell, Robert
item Vogel, Kenneth
item Schmer, Marty

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 3, 2009
Publication Date: November 2, 2009
Citation: Mitchell, R., Vogel, K.P., Schmer, M.R. 2009. Effects of Harvest Date and Bale Format on Switchgrass Biomass Loss During Storage. Abstract 164-15 in ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts (CDROM), 1-5 November, 2009, Pittsburg, PA.

Interpretive Summary: Information is limited concerning how harvest date, storage method and duration of storage interact to influence switchgrass biomass loss and feedstock quality. Our objective was to compare the effect of harvest date and storage practice on switchgrass biomass loss for the biorefinery market. A 23-ha field of ‘Shawnee’ switchgrass was seeded at Mead, NE in 2006. Switchgrass was harvested with commercial haying equipment at anthesis (1 August) and 2-weeks after the first killing frost in 2007 and 2008. Switchgrass was baled in large round bales (net-wrapped 3 times and net-wrapped 4 times) and large square bales and stored (open, covered, or in a hay barn), and the effects of storage method on the feedstock was determined. Bales from each harvest and baling method were weighed and sampled immediately after harvest and at 4-month intervals for 12 months. Average field-scale yield for the seeding year and two production years was 9 Mg ha-1. Preliminary data indicate biomass loss could be as great as 24% after 12 months of outdoor storage with inadequate bale protection.. Changes in switchgrass biomass and feedstock quality will be important to understand as the biorefinery market develops.

Technical Abstract: Information is limited concerning how harvest date, storage method and duration of storage interact to influence switchgrass biomass loss and feedstock quality. Our objective was to compare the effect of harvest date and storage practice on switchgrass biomass loss for the biorefinery market. A 23-ha field of ‘Shawnee’ switchgrass was seeded at Mead, NE in 2006. Switchgrass was harvested with commercial haying equipment at anthesis (1 August) and 2-weeks after the first killing frost in 2007 and 2008. Switchgrass was baled in large round bales (net-wrapped 3 times and net-wrapped 4 times) and large square bales and stored (open, covered, or in a hay barn), and the effects of storage method on the feedstock was determined. Bales from each harvest and baling method were weighed and sampled immediately after harvest and at 4-month intervals for 12 months. Average field-scale yield for the seeding year and two production years was 9 Mg ha-1. Preliminary data indicate biomass loss could be as great as 24% after 12 months of outdoor storage with inadequate bale protection.. Changes in switchgrass biomass and feedstock quality will be important to understand as the biorefinery market develops.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page