This week’s On the Radio segment looks at miscanthus, an Asian biomass crop with multiple environmental benefits which may produce high yields in Iowa, according to a recent report. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.
An Asian biomass crop with multiple environmental benefits may produce high yields in Iowa, according to a recent report.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Iowa State University researchers recently found that a non-invasive hybrid of miscanthus, a tall perennial grass related to sugarcane, may have higher yield potential in Iowa than once thought. While the plants showed difficulty getting established in experimental fields, once planted most were able to withstand two Iowa winters. Miscanthus usually hits peak production in its third year.
The plant could play a major role in Iowa agriculture as a source of biomass that can be converted into energy. It can grow alongside existing crops and in sections of fields which usually produce lower yields for corn. This would not only increase field productivity but could also help reduce runoff and improve water quality.
For more information about miscanthus, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Jerry Schnoor.