2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
An objective of the CENUSA project is to obtain adaptation and biomass yield and quality information on perennial grasses grown for biomass energy in the Midwest, USA. To achieve this objective, uniform field evaluations of advanced experimental strains (candidate cultivars) and previously released cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass need to be conducted throughout the CenUSA or Midwest region. One set of trials will be planted in spring 2012 and another set will be planted in spring 2014 when additional candidate cultivars are available. The specific objective of this agreement is to evaluate experimental strains and cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass in Illinois for use as biomass energy crops.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Experimental strains and previously released cultivars of switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, and prairie cordgrass will be evaluated in replicated small plot sward trials at each location. The procedures used in the research will be similar to those described by Casler et al., 2007 (Crop Science 47:2249-2260). Specific protocols using best management practices and other experimental procedures and plans will be provided by the ARS cooperator. Separate trials will be planted for each species with the exception of prairie cordgrass, which will be included with another species. The trials will have twenty to thirty switchgrass entries, ten to twenty big bluestem and indiangrass entries and about five prairie cordgrass entries. Year one will be the establishment year. Biomass yields, stands, and quality samples will be obtained in years two, three, and four for each set of trials. Approximately 1000 plants from each of five late-flowering experimental strains will be planted for seed multiplication in Champaign, IL (establishment in 2012 and seed production in 2013). These strains are intended for evaluation in CenUSA trials to be planted in 2014: WBB-10L, WBB-11L, & WBB-12L big bluestems; WS11L-OK & WS11L-IL switchgrasses.
The following varieties and experimental populations comprise the seed lots to be evaluated in these field trials.
Check cultivars: Cave-in-Rock, Shawnee, Summer, Sunburst, Kanlow (no foundation seed)
ARS, Lincoln Cultivars: Kanlow N2, Summer Late Mat. C2, KxS HP1 NETO2 C2, NE 2010 X HYLD-HDMD C1, CIR C4, KxS HP1 NETO2 C1, KxS HP1 High Yield C1, Kanlow N1 Late Mat-High Yield, Kanlow N1 Early Mat-High Yield
Noble/UGA Cultivars: Blade EG2101, Blade EG1102, Blade EG210, NFSG10-02, NFSG10-11
Oklahoma State Cultivars: NL 93-2, NL 94 C2-, 1NO94 C2-4, NSL 2009-1
Check cultivars: Rountree, Goldmine, Bonanza, Kaw, Niagara, Sunnyview, Champ
ARS, Lincoln Cultivars: Kaw HYLD-HDMD C5, Pawnee HYLd-HDMD C5, Bamboo C1, MW5A C1, MW5B C1
Check cultivars: Warrior, Scout, Chief, Rumsey, Tomahawk, Holt
ARS, Lincoln Cultivars: Oto C3 HYLD-HDMD C4, NE 54 HYLD-HDMD C3, SN HZ 4 C1, SN HZ 5 C1, SDIG 2
This research supports Objective 4 of the parent project: Improve profitability, conversion efficiency, and adaptability to climatic variation in forage and bioenergy crops. Three experiments were successfully established at Urbana, Illinois (switchgrass, big bluestem, and indiangrass). Stand establishment data were provided to ARS for inclusion in project reports and for multi-location data analysis.