AgCenter studying switchgrass as biofuel

Associated Press Published: November 4, 2012
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ARCHIBALD, La. (AP) — An LSU AgCenter forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock.

Michael Blazier says switchgrass needs little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods. And he says that on land left open because soybeans did poorly there, one application of fertilizer yielded up to 10 tons of grass per acre.

He's also been growing switchgrass among pine trees at the LSU AgCenter Hill Farm Research Station near Homer in Claiborne Parish, to see whether landowners earn money from switchgrass before trees are ready for lumbering.

Near Archibald in Richland Parish, he and an Arkansas forest ecologist are studying switchgrass grown together with eastern cottonwood trees, which also are being studied as possible biofuel feedback.