Switchgrass is Being Planted with Hopes of a New Ethanol Source - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Switchgrass is Being Planted with Hopes of a New Ethanol Source

Adam Calaway of the Noble Foundation Adam Calaway of the Noble Foundation

In Oklahoma their's a one of a kind project trying to produce ethanol more efficiently.

In just a few months you will be able to see plenty of switchgrass in the Oklahoma panhandle.

"Well really it's history in the making because this is 1,000 acres of switchgrass going in right now," said Adam Calaway of the Noble Foundation, an Oklahoma organization promoting bioenergy across the state.

According to government research, one acre of switchgrass has the potential to make over eleven thousand gallons of ethanol which is far more efficient than corn. The current leading crop used to produce the gas.

One problem with switchgrass so far, there's not been enough research into the crop.

"Mainly what John Deere told us was this drill was made for three crops: wheat, sorgum and soybeans, but if I figured it out they'd like to know. Well I know and they don't"

The Process going on today is planting the seed. Organizers say after one year they want to see a 30 percent yield, two years, 70 percent, and after three years they want to see a 100 percent crop yield."

"It's going to be a living labratory for scientists and researchers to come down and to test methods and varieties and it's also going to be an outdoor classroom and allow people to come see what one thousand acres of switchgrass is," said Calaway.

This is the largest switchgrass crop in the world and researchers are hoping it will yield enough knowledge to make switchgrass, the main provider for ethanol production.

Leaving corn for food.

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