Yield of perennial herbaceous and woody biomass crops over time across three locations

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16 Scopus citations


The use of perennial biomass crops is expected to increase and will likely be part of a diversified approach to cropping system design that focuses on multiple economic, ecological, and environmental benefits. Field experiments were conducted from 2006 to 2011 at three locations in Minnesota to quantify biomass production across a diverse set of perennial herbaceous and woody crops. Herbaceous crops were harvested annually in the fall while the woody crops were harvested once following five years of growth. Willow produced more total biomass than all other woody and herbaceous biomass crops across all locations. However, miscanthus biomass yield was similar to 'SX67' willow at St. Paul and Waseca, but was dependent on the cultivar of miscanthus. Prairie cordgrass cultivars were among the highest and most consistent yielding herbaceous biomass crops across locations. Miscanthus cultivars produced the highest annual dry matter yield of 35Mgha-1yr-1 biomass, but only during the final year of the study. Other herbaceous crops such as switchgrass performed well in certain locations and may offer flexibility in cropping choice. This unique information on comparative biomass yield across a diversity of perennial crops will inform the overall decision-making process in a way that reduces risk and optimizes productivity in specific environments. This study shows that several biomass crop species can be successfully grown as part of a diversified biomass cropping enterprise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Bioenergy crops
  • Biomass feedstock
  • Biomass production
  • Crop production
  • Renewable energy


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