Location: Grain, Forage & Bioenergy Research
Title: A model for deploying switchgrass for bioenergy in an intensive agricultural landscape Authors
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 16, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Mitchell, R., Vogel, K.P. 2011. A model for deploying switchgrass for bioenergy in an intensive agricultural landscape. Abstract #57-6. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Technical Abstract: Switchgrass bioenergy research has been conducted in Nebraska since 1990. In that time, significant progress has been made in switchgrass breeding and genetics, molecular genetics, establishment, fertility management, production economics, production energetics, harvest and storage management, ecosystem services, and ethanol yield. We have demonstrated clearly that switchgrass for bioenergy is productive, protective of the environment, and profitable for the farmer. Even with the availability of a complete production package for the central Great Plains, switchgrass for bioenergy production has not been adopted on a large scale. This lack of adoption likely is due to farmers not wanting to plant switchgrass without a viable bioenergy market, and biorefineries not wanting to build without a viable long-term feedstock supply. An important aspect of feedstock supply is having enough land available to grow the 625,000+ tons of feedstock required by a 50-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant. One viable scenario with an available land base is growing switchgrass in the corners of center pivot irrigation systems. A detailed analysis of the Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District in eastern Nebraska demonstrates the available land base within a transport distance of 40-km.