New Crop Could Change Ethanol Production in the OK Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New Crop Could Change Ethanol Production in the OK Panhandle

The planting of a revolutionary crop continued in Guymon today.

It has the potential to make ethanol at least five times more efficiently than corn.

And that's just one of the benefits.

Outside of Guymon the Oklahoma Bioenergy Center is working on growing the largest switchgrass crop in the world.

Making it a one of a kind outdoor classroom and research center.

Researchers say the potential for switchgrass is enormous.

It's a perennial crop meaning it doesn't need to be planted each year.

Also, it's drought resistant and doesn't require nearly as much water or fertilizer as corn.

"The bioenergy crop that's gonna be out here blowing in the wind here shortly is going to hopefully revolutionize energy production but also agriculture producers around the state and country," said Adam Calaway with The Noble Foundation, a bioenergy research group in Oklahoma.

Switchgrass is considered a new crop because it's a native grass that has never been utilized as a crop.

The Oklahoma Bioenergy Council hopes within the next five years they'll know enough to make this crop a mainstream producer of ethanol.

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