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  • Testing the water for bioenergy crops

    Professor Praveen Kumar, right, and graduate student Phong V.V. Le found that bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass use more water than corn, a consideration that has been left out of the cost-benefit analysis for land conversion.

    Professor Praveen Kumar, right, and graduate student Phong V.V. Le found that bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass use more water than corn, a consideration that has been left out of the cost-benefit analysis for land conversion.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Professor Praveen Kumar, right, and graduate student Phong V.V. Le found that bioenergy crops such as miscanthus and switchgrass use more water than corn, a consideration that has been left out of the cost-benefit analysis for land conversion.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      Bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass (front) and miscanthus (rear), have very dense foliage, thus having a different effect on hydrology than traditional agricultural crops. They transpire more water, thereby reducing both soil moisture and runoff.

      Photo by Praveen Kumar

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      Corn, switchgrass and miscanthus grown side-by-side at the U. of I. experimental plots in Urbana.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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