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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341915

Research Project: Redesigning Forage Genetics, Management, and Harvesting for Efficiency, Profit, and Sustainability in Dairy and Bioenergy Production Systems

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Reed canary grass: from production to end use

Author
item JENSEN, ELAINE - Aberystwyth University
item Casler, Michael
item FARRAR, KERRIE - Aberystwyth University
item DONNISON, IAIN - Aberystwyth University
item FINNAN, JOHN - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea - RCG) is a lignocellulosic perennial crop that is carbon-efficient in terms of sequestration and nutrient recycling, and grows well on land that is marginal for food and feed production. Therefore, it can help deliver sustainable bioenergy without impacting food security. Biomass from RCG can be utilized in a range of energy conversion processes, including combustion, anaerobic digestion (for biogas), pyrolysis, and cellulosic ethanol production. RCG can produce high yields of biomass under proper management conditions. Improvement of biomass yield for a one-harvest management system should focus on tall plants with many nodes and a high straw fraction, high panicle number, reduced leaf area index, and reduced axillary shoot development, demonstrating a clear deviation from long-term breeding objectives for livestock agriculture. RCG can be harvested with conventional agricultural machinery, irrespective of whether it is grown for combustion or for other uses such as biogas production. The remediation potential of RCG is an emerging area of research, with reported applications in phytoextraction, phytodegradation, as a bio-indicator for pollutants, and use in wetlands or engineered passive treatment systems. RCG also has considerable potential in the physical phytostabilisation of soils or sediments.