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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Comparison of switchgrass cultivars and corn grown as bioenergy feedstocks in New Jersey
Year: 2010
Author(s): Cortese, L., Helsel, Z., Bonos, S.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 35
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a native perennial warm season grass (C4) currently being used as a bioenergy feedstock. However, little information is available on switchgrass production in the northeastern US. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the performance of four switchgrass cultivars with corn (Zea mays) at two locations in New Jersey. Four switchgrass cultivars (Alamo, Carthage, Cave-in-Rock, and Timber) and a corn hybrid were planted in a randomized complete block design with three replicates at two locations, Pittstown and Upper Deerfield, NJ in spring of 2007 at a rate of 11.2 kg PLS ha-1. Adapted Round-Up Ready™ corn hybrids were planted at each location at a rate of 11,340 seeds ha-1. Both trials received 60 kg N ha‐1 applied in mid-May of each year. A single fall harvest in 2009 was made at each location. The corn grain and stover were also separated to determine plant biomass and grain yield. Ash was determined from subsamples of switchgrass plots collected monthly after harvest. Biomass yields for switchgrass ranged from 9.36 to 14.16 Mg ha-1. Total corn yields ranged from 4.66 to 6.18 Mg ha-1. Cultivars Timber, Alamo, and Carthage had the highest yields at both locations. Mean ash content decreased after fall harvest at both locations and reached the lowest values in early spring. Results suggest that once an infrastructure for cellulosic ethanol is established, Timber, Alamo, and Carthage could be promising cultivars for biomass production in NJ as an alternative to corn.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper