Oklahoma State University


CRP Opportunities and ConcernsCRP Opportunities and Concerns - Switchgrass - Plant & Soil Sciences

There is much debate about the role of CRP lands within the developing biofuels industry. Many wildlife conservation groups are concerned that a biofuels industry centered on grain-based ethanol will cause CRP lands to be converted to annual grain crops, which will reduce wildlife habitat quality. A cellulosic biofuel industry fed by perennial grasses such as switchgrass could provide for a good compromise because switchgrass, even when grown in a monoculture, is reported to provide higher quality habitat than annual cropping systems. In addition, switchgrass production provides for soil conservation and minimizes nutrient runoff to surface water bodies; thereby, providing the benefi ts originally intended for the CRP program.

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