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Miscanthus: Potential Economic Opportunities and Environmental Benefits for Illinois

The purpose of this research is to examine the potential for economically viable soil carbon sequestration and biomass production through Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) relative to other alternatives in Illinois agriculture. Miscanthus, a perennial herbaceous crop is considered a new bio-energy source for electricity generation that can reduce reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Besides, it can also sequester significant amount of carbon in soil and provide alternative economic opportunity to farmers in the form of carbon credits. With growing concerns about global warming and the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol both national and an international market for such carbon credits are likely to develop. In this research we provide some preliminary data on the potential for environmentally and economically sustainable biomass production opportunities for farmers in Illinois.

Madhu Khanna1, Basanta Dhungana1 and Michelle Wander2
1Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, UIUC
2Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, UIUC

Department of Crop Sciences
College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois Extension
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