Effect of N-fertilizer and harvest timing on biomass yields and quality in Panicum virgatum l. and restored prairie in the upper Midwest

Native warm-season grasses of the tallgrass prairie are anticipated to be a significant source of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks for renewable energy, as well as deliver additional ecossytem services, such as mitigate nitrogen (N) losses to the environment. Whether additional services are realized, however will depend largely on how these perrenial bioenergy crops are managed. Balancing the trade-offs of maximizing yields while minimizing N removal at harvest and conserving N in the plant-soil system to limit N-losses, remains a major challenge in growing bioenergy crops.

Author: L. Smith (data collected on WICST prairie)