Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Assessment of growing switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an energy crop for biofuel feedstocks in relation to growing conditions in Colorado was carried out. Six cultivars of switchgrass were established in May 2008 at a rate of 11.2 kg ha-1 without or with nitrogen fertilization (50 kg N ha-1). Switchgrass was harvested in early November 2008 or February 2009. Irrigation and weed control were necessary for successful switchgrass establishment in Colorado. However, N fertilization increased weed population. First year data indicated that the biomass yield ranked as: Trailblazer (7.8 t ha-1) > Pathfinder = Blackwell (both 6.0 t ha-1) > Sunburst = Dacotah = Forestburg(1.8, 1.2, and 1.1 t ha-1, respectively). No significant differences were found in ash content among cultivars and between harvest times.