Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), a C4 perennial grass shows great potential for producing high dry biomass yields for bioenergy feedstock purposes. We assessed Miscanthus' suitability in five U.S. locations by means of field experimentation and the use of a biomass crop model, BioCro. Field data were collected in research plots (10 m x 10 m) in Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Jersey. At each location 3 nitrogen rates (0, 60, and 120 kg ha-1) were applied. We measured peak biomass, stand density, biomass quality, light interception, and collected meteorological variables. Additional crop physiological variables such as field leaf-level photosynthesis and leaf area index were collected in Illinois; these variables were used to further improve parameter estimates. Miscanthus was highly productive at the five locations showing a broad range of adaptability despite the use of the same clone at all locations. The model successfully simulated most variables at all locations suggesting that it is a robust tool for predicting productivity in other environments (years and/or locations).