Switchgrass as A Biofuel
for one is a perennial system.
“So you know, as a producer, you can just you would just get it established, and then the maintenance is very minimal. Usually, it does a good job of maintaining as limited need for weed control, post establishment nitrogen fertilizer is acquired annually, but it's not a lot. And then you essentially have, you know, a couple of harvest. We do have one cut harvest system is what we're proposing generally after a killing frost. So you know, in terms of time management after it's established, you essentially probably have a fertilization and then a harvesting.
Dr. Schmer adds that there are environmental benefits as well to raising switchgrass.
“It does require a lot of nitrogen so you can stabilize our soils, we've got a lot of work on trying to determine how much carbon switchgrass is able to accrual in the soil profile, and our evidence shows that it does a really good job.”
As for harvesting it, he says that is treated like a high-yielding hay crop. Other important questions are working on answering through their research is storage capacity and the best way to process switchgrass into a biofuel.