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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 27, No. 13, Feb. 7, 2008

Miscanthus harvest
photos by L. Brian Stauffer

Harvest time

Giant miscanthus, a hybrid perennial grass that is being studied as a potential source of biofuels, is harvested on the 12-acre research plot on the South Farms. Unlike most other potential biofuels crops, miscanthus can stand in the field until it is needed and can be harvested in winter. Once established, the plant’s dense perennial root system binds the soil, adding significant organic matter and making it especially suitable for erodible or worked-out soils. Miscanthus also is more productive than potential biofuels crops such as corn or switchgrass, yielding an estimated 10-15 tons of biomass per acre.


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