Project ID

XP2015-12

Abstract

Miscanthus × giganteus is a promising biomass crop for Iowa, based on its high yields and low input requirements. However, several factors are limiting farmer adoption, particularly lack of best management practices (BMPs) that would balance agronomic, economic, and environmental performance. The goal of this project was to establish the “Long-term Assessment of Miscanthus Productivity and Sustainability” (LAMPS) trial at three Iowa sites and develop the human and research infrastructure to identify BMPs for M. × giganteus, with the ultimate goals of furthering Iowa’s bioeconomy and preserving its natural resources.

Key Question

What are the best management practices (BMPs) that would balance agronomic, economic, and environmental performance for Miscanthus × giganteus?

Findings

The development of a research framework and collaborator network, the team was able to implement on-going research, develop funding applications and aided in the awarding of a new Dept. of Energy Bioenergy Research Center (Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproduct Innovation), bringing ~$6 million to ISU and supporting base LAMPS activities through 2022. From the beginning of the project, more than 10 graduate and undergraduate students have worked on aspects of developing BMP practices. The team has given more than 10 field tours and reached over 300,000 people on social media. Written and oral outreach efforts have resulted in 6 project updates, over 15 LAMPS results presentations at scientific meetings, and 1 peer-reviewed journal article (Tejera & Heaton, 2017). In the last year of the project, a PhD student (Tejera) graduated, 3 additional peer-reviewed journal articles were published, a M. × giganteus development factsheet was created, and the continuation of the popular workshop for current and new M. × giganteus growers.

Principal Investigator(s)

Emily Heaton

Co-Investigator(s)

Nicolas Boersma; Ingrid Anderson

Year of Grant Completion

2017

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