Chapter

Engineering and Science of Biomass Feedstock Production and Provision

pp 37-59

Date:

Switchgrass and Giant Miscanthus Agronomy

  • D. K. LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Allen S. ParrishAffiliated withDepartment of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Thomas B. VoigtAffiliated withDepartment of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Email author 

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Abstract

Sustainable biomass feedstock production is the necessary first step for cellulosic biofuel and bioenergy production. Two species, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), are of interest as dedicated energy crops as both have great biomass production potential. Switchgrass, a perennial warm-season grass native to most of North America, has been evaluated for biomass feedstock production in many parts of world and shows promise as a productive feedstock with many environmental benefits. Giant miscanthus, also a perennial warm-season grass, originated in Japan and has recently been evaluated as a feedstock because of substantial biomass production. The management of these two crops is very different; switchgrass is propagated using seeds and giant miscanthus is a sterile hybrid that requires asexual propagation using either rhizomes or plugs. This chapter provides detailed practical information on establishment and post-establishment management for these two grasses as dedicated energy crops.