Fact sheets explain how to grow switchgrass

Educating Tennessee farmers, landowners and citizens on the production and consumption of biofuels is the focus of a new informative fact sheet campaign spearheaded by University of Tennessee Extension.

Farmers will play a vital role in the success of the state-sponsored UT Biofuels Initiative. The initiative, which aims to construct and operate a 5-million-gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in East Tennessee, will rely on a constant supply of plant material in order to produce ethanol for fuel. Scientists at UT say switchgrass, a warm-season grass native to Tennessee, will be the primary feedstock for the facility.

At maximum production capacity, the facility will need to be supplied with 170 tons of switchgrass per day. Since the success of the UT Biofuels Initiative depends heavily on farmers growing and harvesting switchgrass, UT Extension is publishing fact sheets to help farmers and others interested in switchgrass production. Additional biofuels topics will be addressed in the publications, too.

The first two fact sheets are available now: Biofuels ‘101’ and Growing and Harvesting Switchgrass for Ethanol Production in Tennessee.

Other titles such as Woody Biofuels: Past, Present and Future; Economics of Ethanol and Using Biofuels on the Farm will be available soon.

The fact sheets can be read, downloaded and printed from the UT Extension publications Web site: http://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/biofuels/.

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