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Dual-Use Bioenergy-Livestock Feed Potential of Giant Miscanthus, Giant Reed, and Miscane

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DOI: 10.4236/as.2017.81008    1,473 Downloads   2,147 Views Citations


High yielding perennial grasses could integrate bioenergy-livestock operations, thereby, offsetting diversions of cropland to lignocellulosic crops, but research is needed to determine chemical composition and digestibility of leaf and stem fractions that might affect downstream reside uses. The objective of this study was to compare feedstock quality of leaf and stem tissues of dedicated bioenergy feedstocks: giant miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), giant reed (Arundo donax), and miscane (Saccharum hybrid × Miscanthus spp.) when grown with or without supplemental irrigation on an upland site. Three species were space-planted on a silt loam soil in March 2007 and harvested prior to the first freeze in plant-cane, first ratoon, and second-ratoon crops for three years. Giant miscanthus leaf tissue had greatest acid detergent lignin and cellulose, and lowest concentrations of nitrogen (N) and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC) in ratoon crops. Giant reed leaf tissue had greatest concentrations of in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDMD), TNC, and N (P ≤ 0.05). Conversely, miscane stem tissue had greatest concentrations of IVDMD, TNC, hemicellulose, and low dry matter and combustible energy (P ≤ 0.05). Results suggest all species’ residue has positive feedstock attributes for thermochemical bioenergy conversion, and albeit giant miscanthus has very little potential value as fodder. Miscane stem and giant reed leaf tissue have potential value as livestock feed, although giant reed is not currently recommended for planting. Further research is needed on dietary composition, acceptability, voluntary intake, and live weight gain before any of these species are recommended as livestock feed sources.

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Burner, D. , Ashworth, A. , Pote, D. , Kiniry, J. , Belesky, D. , Houx III, J. , Carver, P. and Fritschi, F. (2017) Dual-Use Bioenergy-Livestock Feed Potential of Giant Miscanthus, Giant Reed, and Miscane. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 97-112. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.81008.

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