Murray State University

Poster Title

Ethanol: Fueling America's Future

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Switchgrass will soon be fueling America by producing cellulosic ethanol with its high content of cellulose and adaptability to many different climates and soil conditions. The production of this grass is in its infancy and research for maximum yields is needed. Upwards of 10,000 acres of switchgrass will be needed in Kentucky and surrounding states in the next 5 years. With a seeding rate of 8 pounds per acre at a cost of $12-$16 per pound this will be a major cost of establishment. Seed production of the highly acclaimed Alamo variety is the main focus of this research. The research project, a joint project with the University of Tennessee, consists of determining the seed production capabilities of a three year old field of switchgrass, a comparison of seed production from a one-cut forage system verses a two-cut system, and a test of the efficiency of direct harvesting by a specially prepared combine using manually harvested and threshed test plots as a control. There will be 3 replications of combine harvesting in both the one-cut and two-cut systems along with 4 replications of 3 different treatments in the manually harvested and threshed test. Results will be disseminated to the agricultural community to provide needed data in this new crop usage.

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Ethanol: Fueling America's Future

Switchgrass will soon be fueling America by producing cellulosic ethanol with its high content of cellulose and adaptability to many different climates and soil conditions. The production of this grass is in its infancy and research for maximum yields is needed. Upwards of 10,000 acres of switchgrass will be needed in Kentucky and surrounding states in the next 5 years. With a seeding rate of 8 pounds per acre at a cost of $12-$16 per pound this will be a major cost of establishment. Seed production of the highly acclaimed Alamo variety is the main focus of this research. The research project, a joint project with the University of Tennessee, consists of determining the seed production capabilities of a three year old field of switchgrass, a comparison of seed production from a one-cut forage system verses a two-cut system, and a test of the efficiency of direct harvesting by a specially prepared combine using manually harvested and threshed test plots as a control. There will be 3 replications of combine harvesting in both the one-cut and two-cut systems along with 4 replications of 3 different treatments in the manually harvested and threshed test. Results will be disseminated to the agricultural community to provide needed data in this new crop usage.