Cellulosic biomass for biofuel remains a substantial part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate and perennial grasses like switchgrass meet the RFS requirements for cellulosic biomass. Perennial grasses are a popular choice because of the benefits they can provide over traditional row crop production: numerous production years from a single planting, yield advantages on marginally productive cropland, increased soil carbon sequestration, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and other environmental benefits. Despite these benefits, scalable production of switchgrass in the Midwest faces substantial challenges. The largest of these is the need to compete economically with alternative land uses: row crop production, grazing, haying, or Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Jacobs, Keri; Mitchell, Rob; and Hart, Chad, "To Grow or not to Grow: A Tool for Comparing Returns to Switchgrass for Bioenergy with Annual Crops and CRP" (2016). Ag Decision Maker Information Files. 1.