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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343327

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Grain and Biomass Cropping Systems using a Landscape-Based GxExM Approach

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Miscanthus × giganteus growth and nutrient export on 22 producer fields

Author
item Yost, Matt
item Kitchen, Newell
item Sudduth, Kenneth - Ken
item ALLPHIN, ERIC - Renew Biomass

Submitted to: BioEnergy Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2018
Publication Date: 3/29/2018
Citation: Yost, M.A., Kitchen, N.R., Sudduth, K.A., Allphin, E. 2018. Miscanthus × giganteus growth and nutrient export on 22 producer fields. BioEnergy Research. 11(2):426-439. doi:10.1007/s12155-018-9907-2.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12155-018-9907-2

Interpretive Summary: Few on-farm assessments of Giant Miscanthus growth and nutrition exist, despite how valuable agronomic information on previous crops, soils, and landscape position, etc. would be. Therefore, Miscanthus growth and nutrition were monitored during 2014 and 2015 at various landscape positions within 22 commercial production fields in central and southwestern Missouri and northeast Arkansas. Miscanthus yield was best when it was grown: i) following pasture converted to annual row crops or following row crops; ii) on soils with colluvium parent material; iii) on north-facing backslopes or footslopes; iv) on soils with medium to fine texture; and v) on well-drained/high runoff/low available water soils. Most effects on nutrient export were similar to effects on yield, but some nutrient exports were also influenced by manure history and weather conditions. Overall, cropping history prior to Miscanthus, landscape position, and soil properties such as parent material, soil textural class, and drainage class had the largest influence on Miscanthus growth and nutrition. Weather conditions and inferior soils did not strongly influence Miscanthus production, but excessive soil moisture often limited its growth. Thus, Miscanthus may be especially well-suited for vulnerable backslope positions otherwise prone to erosion under annual row crop production. These results will assist landowners, farmers, farm advisors, agribusiness, and educators with the optimal placement and cultivation of Miscanthus on Midwest landscapes.

Technical Abstract: On-farm assessments of Miscanthus × giganteus growth and nutrition across a wide range of management and environmental conditions are needed to determine and model how this crop performs and where it should be placed on the landscape. Therefore, Miscanthus growth and nutrition were monitored during 2014 and 2015 at several landscape positions within 22 commercial production fields in central and southwestern Missouri and northeast Arkansas. Miscanthus shoot density and/or yield were best when it was grown: i) following pasture converted to annual row crops or following row crops; ii) on soils with colluvium parent material; iii) on north-facing backslopes or footslopes; iv) on soils with medium to fine texture; and v) on well-drained/high runoff/low available water soils. Factors influencing nutrient concentrations varied by nutrient, but all concentrations consistently decreased as stands matured and most were more influenced by weather than were yield or nutrient export. Most effects on nutrient export were similar to effects on yield, but some nutrient exports were also influenced by manure history and weather conditions. Overall, cropping history prior to Miscanthus, landscape position, and soil properties such as parent material, soil textural class, and drainage class had the largest influence on Miscanthus growth and nutrition. Weather conditions and inferior soils did not strongly influence Miscanthus production, but excessive soil moisture caused by various soil and weather factors often limited its growth. Thus, Miscanthus may be especially well-suited for vulnerable backslope positions otherwise prone to erosion under annual row crop production. These results will assist with the optimal placement and cultivation of Miscanthus on Midwest landscapes.