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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Developing management criteria for maximum biomass production of Alamo and Cave-in-Rock switchgrass cultivars in western Arkansas
Year: 2010
Author(s): King, J., Pratt, T., Goff, L.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 90
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma are in the center of the switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) production belt. Increasing interest in cellulosic ethanol production, especially switchgrass-based production, has highlighted the need for information about maximizing production of this feedstock. Little information exists about switchgrass performance under animal waste fertility, or commercial fertility, and no information exists about supplemental irrigation. We randomly planted ‘Alamo’ and ‘Cave-in-Rock’ cultivars in 40’X40’ subplots with three replications. Treatments included 2 tons/ac animal waste (dry poultry litter), the nutrient equivalent of commercial fertilizer, supplemental irrigation (2”/week), and control. Half of each subplot was harvested in mid--‐June, with yield and forage quality data recorded. The remaining half of each subplot was annually harvested in early December. The subplot half harvested in mid--‐June was harvested again in early December. Biomass production was similar across fertility treatments for the first growing season. Animal waste-fertilized plots yielded more biomass than commercial fertilized plots in subsequent years. Differences in yields by cultivar were not significant. Annual harvests and semiannual yields were not significantly different. Animal waste fertility yielded more biomass, in both cultivars, over two growing seasons than the equivalent rate of commercial fertilizer. Supplemental irrigation increased biomass yield during years with less than 45 inches of rainfall. ‘Cave-in-Rock’ lodged under high rates of fertility and supplemental irrigation. Annual harvests were economically more feasible than multiple harvests.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper