The newest market opportunity for agriculture and forestry is high biomass energy crops that may have alternate uses for on-farm bioenergy production as well as marketing to local industrial –scale facilities.
The USDA plant breeding program in Tifton is assessing high biomass crops; Switchgrass, Bermuda grass, and Napier grass suitability to Georgia. The USDA plant breeding program are crossing and selecting hybrid Napier grass lines for increased dry matter yields. Georgia has a great capacity to supply lignocelluloses material, the bulk of plant materials, which offers the potential for a low cost material to expand biofuels production.
The Future Farmstead program will identify and breed new lines of high energy biomass crops suited to local conditions for energy production and these will be showcased on site.