F. John Hay

Switchgrass is a native to the tall grass prairie of the Midwest and has high potential as perennial bioenergy crop.  photo courtesy of Rob Mitchell

Drill Calibration

Switchgrass Harvest


Switchgrass (panicum virgatum) is a perennial native to the tall grass prairies of the Great Plains. Growing in large clumps sometimes as tall 5 to 8 feet switchgrass is widely adapted and is grown in research plots from the southeast U.S. up to Canada.

Net energy of cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass

Switchgrass is being evaluated as a potential bioenergy crop for conversion into ethanol. Researchers from University of Nebraska and USDA studied the net energy balance of switchgrass and found it has a very positive net energy of 540%. 
Read the study by Schmer, Vogel, Mitchell, and Perrin

Farm-Scale Production Cost of Switchgrass for Biomass

Production costs are an important part of the equation when it comes to the future of cellulosic biofuels. Researchers in the Agricultural Economics Department at UNL looked at the production costs of switchgrass. Results showed that farming experience did help where producers who were experienced in growing switchgrass had lower production costs than producers who had not grown the crop before.
Read the study by Perrin, Vogel, Schmer, and Mitchell 

Switchgrass, Big Bluestem, and Indiangrass for Grazing and Hay, G1908

The grazing management and cultural practices discussed in this NebGuide can make the tall warm-season grasses switchgrass, big bluestem, and indiangrass high quality summer forage.
Read this Nebguide. 

Other Resources:

Management Guide for the Production of Switchgrass for Biomass Fuel in Southern Iowa - link to pdf

Switchgrass Production in Ontario: A Management Guide - link to pdf

Growing and Harvesting Switchgrass for Ethanol Production in Tennessee - link to pdf

Switchgrass Production Information - Clemson University

Management Guide for Biomass Feedstock Production from Switchgrass in the Northern Great Plains - South Dakota State University - link to pdf

Switchgrass Production Workshop 2012


Switchgrass production workshop was held March 20th 2012 at the Agricultural Research and development center (ARDC) near Mead Nebraska.  This workshop was supported by a USDA NIFA grant titled CenUSA Bioenergy

Switchgrass and Perennial Grasses, Biomass, and Biofuels - 2012  Ken Vogel, Supervisory Research Geneticist, USDA ARS: Forage Breeding
Switchgrass and Bioenergy Crop Logistics - Stuart Birrell, Associate Professor Department of Ag and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University
Switchgrass Establishment, Weed Control, Herbicides, Seed Quality - Robert Mitchell, Research Agronomist, USDA ARS, AssociateProfessor UNL Department of Agronomy
Switchgrass Cost of Production 2012  - Marty Schmer, Research Agronomist, USDA -ARS,
Industry Perspective - David Stock, Stock Seed Farms
View videos of all presentations at CenUSA Bioenergy Vimeo Site