The Midwest's Next Big Energy SourceNews index...
For better or worse, land that was taken out of production years ago as part of the Conservation Reserve Program will be kicked back into production in the coming years.
How will landowners and farm managers make use of the newly functional ground? If taken back to row crops, the perennial soil quality benefits from CRP grasses may be lost, proving the program's long term gains to be marginal at best.
What if another crop existed, one that might partially maintain the benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program, while at the same time, allow landowners to advance profits on the land that sat idle for years? Decades-worth of study and research that continues today has been brought to fruition in a crop that can successfully be grown in the Midwest and has a well-defined market, yet today lacks some of the legislative support necessary to catapult it to the level of more conventional crops: Switchgrass.