Switchgrass pp 87-112 | Cite as

Crop Management of Switchgrass

Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Management of switchgrass for bioenergy and forage share some commonalities, of particular interest in bioenergy crop production is: (1) rapid establishment of switchgrass to generate harvestable biomass in the seeding year, (2) highly efficient management of soil and fertilizer N to minimize external energy inputs, and (3) harvest management to maximize yields of lignocellulose. Bioenergy cropping may entail management for multiple services in addition to biomass yield including soil C sequestration, wildlife habitat, landscape management, and water quality protection. Management is a critical factor especially as land classified as marginal or idle land will be emphasized for bioenergy production to reduce conflicts with food production. Marginal land may also be more risky. To date, there has been no long-term commercial production of switchgrass on a large scale and there is little in the way of hands-on, practical farm experience with switchgrass managed as a bioenergy crop. In this chapter, we lay out the key best management practices for switchgrass as a bioenergy crop including establishment, soil fertility, and pest management.


Perennial Grass Conventional Tillage Bioenergy Crop Companion Crop Switchgrass Cultivar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northern Great Plains Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSMandanUSA
  2. 2.Agroecosystem Management Research UnitUSDA-ARSLincolnUSA
  3. 3.Plant Science DepartmentSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and FisheriesUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  5. 5.Food and Biobased ResearchWageningen URWageningenThe Netherlands

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