Even though the net return to switchgrass is higher In particular, there's a trend away from sugar- and starch-based feedstocks (corn, sugar beets and sugarcane) and toward cellulose-based feedstocks (switchgrass, poplar and other plants with high fiber content). Using a conservation cellulosic conversion value, researchers found that switchgrass grown on the marginal fields produced an average of 300 gallons of ethanol per acre compared to average ethanol yields of 350 gallons per acre for corn for the same three states. In this scenario, the long-term profitability of switchgrass and of hay production over a 15-year time horizon is exactly equal. Traditional breeding methods could produce a switchgrass hybrid that could yield 10 to 12 tons of biomass per acre in the next five years, up from about 5 tons per acre currently, Rath said. “Farmers can grow Freedom giant miscanthus with a profit potential of $100 per ton, or $2,000 per acre. for cellulosic ethanol production in California, including agricultural and urban wastes, rice and wheat straw, wood Switchgrass is a grass native to North America that has been utilized primarily as a forage crop and groundcover. Switchgrass, big bluestem and indiangrass, which are all tall native prairie grasses, dominated the vegetation mix. In this study, switchgrass managed as a bioenergy crop produced estimated ethanol yields per acre similar to those from corn grown in the same states and years based on statewide average grain yields. Helsel said growing Switchgrass for carbon credits outside of Chicago only yields about $3 to $4 per acre. Table 1, below, provides a comparison of switchgrass production assuming a peak yield of 6 tons per acre in years 3 to 6 and a hay yield of 3 tons per acre. With switchgrass, there has been continued testing in cultivation to determine yield amounts. With the cultivation of corn plants, it has been shown that one acre of land can yield about 7,110 pounds of corn which can be processed into 328 gallons of ethanol. Five-year yields average 11.5 tons, enough to make 1,150 gallons of ethanol per acre each year. Simply put, they have the advantages of better ethanol yields and less-restrictive climate and land constraints. Additional studies show that Switchgrass ethanol produces 94% less CO2 than oil. Switchgrass for biomass should be harvested once per year, after the top growth has completely died, using conventional haying equipment in the late fall or early winter. Michigan State University yields in East Lansing ranged from 7 to 10 tons per acre. The researchers point out that this was a base-line study. The scientists used NIRS to test switchgrass varieties and experimental lines adapted to the Midwest and found significant differences for actual and potential ethanol yield per ton and per acre. In Europe, where carbon credits are mandatory, it jumps to $25 per acre. Because of its high biomass yields, switchgrass (above, in … There was an average of 34 different plant species per quarter-acre. CRP grasslands with the highest number of species had the lowest potential ethanol yields per acre. Under good management, a producer can expect a yield up to 10 tons per acre. That is about 26.1 pounds of corn per gallon of ethanol. Equivalent ethanol production is expected to be as much as 3,000 gallons per acre and needs no government subsidy to be profitable.” Every month, the Jennings material notes, “The U.S. spends $30 billion on fuel from OPEC nations. 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