WSU Switchgrass Biofuel Workshop

WSU Switchgrass Biofuel Workshop

Washington Ag Today November 24, 2010 Switchgrass, one of the newest options for biofuels production, will be the focus of a daylong workshop December 8th at Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center at Prosser.

Researchers Steven Fransen and Hal Collins will demonstrate the grass’s potential as an alternate energy source. They have found switchgrass relatively efficient to grow and also have looked at its energy conversion characteristics, adaptability and high crop yields. The grass has been grown since 2002 at four locations in the Columbia Basin and the Yakima Valley.

The workshop will provide information to potential growers, agricultural advisors and anyone interested in cellulosic biofuel. The workshop starts at nine a.m. on December 8th and runs to three p.m. with lunch provided. Pre-registration is required.


Earlier this fall the USDA issued the final rule for its Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which as Farm Service Agency administrator Jonathan Coppess explains, will help producers get crops like switchgrass started.

Coppess: “The federal government will reimburse a farmers up to 75% of the cost to establish a new crop. And the crop that always get talked about is something like switchgrass. So if you go and establish a switchgrass field as part of a project area with the facility that is going to use it for energy production and multiple people providing the biomass, the federal government then will help you by providing that establishment assistance.”

There is also a matching payment provision for the collection, harvest and transport of that biomass material. Contact FSA for more information.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s Washington Ag Today on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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