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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REDESIGNING FORAGE GERMPLASM AND PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR EFFICIENCY, PROFIT, AND SUSTAINABILITY OF DAIRY FARMS Title: Switchgrass

Authors
item Casler, Michael
item Mitchell, Robert
item Vogel, Kenneth

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2009
Publication Date: March 22, 2012
Citation: Casler, M.D., Mitchell, R., Vogel, K.P. 2012. Switchgrass. In: Kole, C., Joshi, C.P., and Shonnard, D.R., editors. Handbook of Bioenergy Crop Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group. p. 563-590.

Interpretive Summary: Switchgrass is native to the USA, an important member of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. It is used for soil conservation, prairie restoration, wildlife habitat, hay and biofuel production, and grazing. There are two types of switchgrass: the upland type can be found from Oklahoma to Canada and the lowland type can be found from Texas to Iowa. Individual strains of switchgrass are narrowly adapted within about 3-4 hardiness zones, creating the need for numerous varieties across the USA. Breeding of switchgrass began in the 1950s and new varieties have been developed with increased forage/biomass yield, higher forage quality (digestibility and animal weight gains), and better long-term persistence. This article describes advancements in breeding and management of switchgrass and will be useful to other researchers interested in switchgrass.

Technical Abstract: Switchgrass is native to the USA, an important member of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. It is used for soil conservation, prairie restoration, wildlife habitat, hay and biofuel production, and grazing. There are two types of switchgrass: the upland type can be found from Oklahoma to Canada and the lowland type can be found from Texas to Iowa. Individual strains of switchgrass are narrowly adapted within about 3-4 hardiness zones, creating the need for numerous varieties across the USA. Breeding of switchgrass began in the 1950s and new varieties have been developed with increased forage/biomass yield, higher forage quality (digestibility and animal weight gains), and better long-term persistence. This article describes advancements in breeding and management of switchgrass and will be useful to other researchers interested in switchgrass.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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