Switchgrass (Panicum spp.) is a perennial C4 grass from North America, which is propagated by seeds. It grows up to 2.5m in height and produces a maximum yield of 14 odt/ha/yr (51.7odt/ha over six years). Like Reed Canary Grass it has low input costs (around £357/ha) and the gross margin should increase as the crop becomes more established. The crop has the following drawbacks:
- Some varieties are prone to lodging.
- It does not respond to Nitrogen fertilizer.
This crop is not eligible for an establishment grant because it is very economical to plant and therefore doesn’t justify support.