In the Northern Great Plains states, switchgrass biomass yields of over 3 tons per acre can be produced on CRP-type fields on farms in this region using existing cultivars and production technology (Figure 4). Existing cultivars were developed for use in pastures and not for biomass energy. It should be feasible to increase biomass yields using cultivars bred for use as biomass energy crops and improved management practices. The results of these field studies clearly demonstrate the need to obtain good stands and harvestable yields the establishment year. This requires high quality seed, good seedbed preparation, and establishment year weed control with herbicides.
|Figure 4. Switchgrass biomass yields and stands averaged over 10 farms in the Northern Plains states of Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota for the period 2000-2004.|
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