Feedstock Development projects

Developing Prairie Cordgrass as a Cellulosic Bioenergy Crop

Prairie cordgrass (PCG) (Spartina pectinata) is a native warm-season grass that grows well on poorly drained and/or salt-affected soils and has potential of biomass yield up to 20 metric tons per hectare in northern environments. This project determined the best genetic resources for developing improved populations and best planting system and agronomic management practices for sustainable PCG biomass production in land not suitable for traditional row crops or other perennial prairie grasses.

project Highlights

2011 Highlights

Lee’s group identified the best 20 lines for high biomass yield production.  Field research indicated that prairie cordgrass has a potential of sustainable biomass feedstock production on marginal lands associated with abiotic stresses such as salts and water logging.

2010 Highlights

Lee’s group completed its nationwide prairie cordgrass germplasm collection, established a germplasm collection nursery with 109 wild populations, and began evaluating germplasm. Researchers collected biomass yield and phenotypic data for the germplasm collected for 2009. Biomass yields were evaluated in agronomic management practices trials including the planting system and N and harvest management trials established in 2009.

2009 Highlights

Germplasm collection has been carried out in 13 states from the northern Midwest and the New England portion of the east coast. Work is underway to establish nurseries of those collections and start collecting evaluation data. Lee’s group is also working to determine the optimum planting system to rapidly establish stands of PCG and to determine best agronomic management practices for PCG biomass production.



Published in 2011

A Simple System for Promoting Flowering of Upland Switchgrass in the Greenhouse, Joseph Castro, Arvid Boe, D.K. Lee. Crop Science, 51(6), doi: 10.2135/cropsci2011.03.0142, pp. 2607-2614, November 2011.


Relative Feeding and Development of Armyworm on Switchgrass and Corn, and its Potential Effects on Switchgrass Grown for Biomass, Jarrad Prasifka, D. K. Lee, Jeffrey Bradshaw, Michael Gray, Journal of Economic Entomology, 104(5):pp. 1561-1567, doi: 10.1603/EC10304, October 2011.



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