Iowa State University has now published two fact sheets in an effort to provide more information on biomass crops.

The publications on switchgrass and miscanthus provide an overview of the crops' soil and site adaptation, life cycle and growth, fertility, yield, harvest considerations, as well as pest and disease management.

"Switchgrass is currently used as a forage crop or as ground cover to control erosion," says Lance Gibson, associate professor of agronomy and a lead author of the fact sheets. "But it also can be burned to generate electricity or fermented into biofuel."

"Miscanthus biomass research in the United States is in its early stages, but has received widespread attention in Europe where it is used for combustion in power plants," Gibson notes. "We also are looking into the potential of converting it in to ethanol."

The publications are available on the Web at and at Iowa State Extension offices. Iowa State agronomy faculty wrote the publications and plan to prepare additional fact sheets on other biomass crops.

Source: Iowa State University