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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Evaluation of switchgrass for improved biomass yield on marginal land

item Bonos, Stacy
item Sosa, Sergio
item Adler, Paul
item Casler, Michael
item Boe, Arvid
item Ernst, Calvin
item Armstrong, John
item Mayton, Hilary

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 10/31/2010
Citation: Bonos, S., Sosa, S., Adler, P.R., Casler, M.D., Boe, A., Ernst, C., Armstrong, J., Mayton, H. 2010. Evaluation of switchgrass for improved biomass yield on marginal land [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 279-9.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The national strategy is to produce bioenergy crops on marginal cropland where there will be no competition with food production. The characteristics of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) make it an excellent candidate for sustainable biomass production on marginal land. However, few studies have evaluated switchgrass performance on marginal land. The objectives of the project are to identify the best performing switchgrass cultivars on marginal land in specific locations and identify cultivars with broad adaptation across several regions. Fourteen switchgrass cultivars representing a range in adaptation, from southern lowland to northern upland ecotypes, were established in ‘paired’ field trials (on marginal soil and on prime farmland soil) in NJ, NY, WI, SD, PA, OH, WV, and MD. Two nitrogen treatments (0, 120 kg ha-1) were applied in the spring of each year. Biomass and agronomic data were collected in 2009 and 2010 to determine the effects of marginal soil on switchgrass performance. Marginal and prime farmland sites were established successfully at all locations except WI. Prime sites had higher percent establishment compared to marginal sites at most, but not all locations. Upland cultivars established best at all locations, followed by northern lowland, while southern lowland cultivars exhibited the poorest establishment at all locations. This information will be useful in identifying switchgrass cultivars with improved biomass production on marginal land.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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