Submitted to: Extension Fact Sheets
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2009
Publication Date: 3/1/2009
Citation: Hall, M., Sanderson, M.A., Adler, P.R. 2009. Switchgrass for biomass in Pennsylvania. Penn State Institute for Energy and the Environment. p. 1. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicium virgatum L.) is a perennial, long lived (greater than 20 years) grass that grows primarily during the warm part of the summer and is native to Pennsylvania. It produces well compared to cool-season grasses during the hot and dry weather of July and August, and on soils with low moisture holding capacity, pH, and phosphorus. Traditionally recognized as a summer component of a pasture system, switchgrass can be harvested for its biomass and used in bioenergy production. The establishment and management requirements for switchgrass are quite different from cool-season grasses, and first time users must pay special attention to the details of managing this grass. This fact sheet reviews management recommendations for variety selection, establishment, soil fertility, and harvest as a biomass crop.