Effect of cultivation technology on switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) productivity in marginal lands in Ukraine

Anna Taranenko, Maksym Kulyk, Maryna Galytska, Serhiy Taranenko


Growing plants for biofuel production on marginal lands is of major importance in many developing countries. As a biomass source, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a most adaptable plastic crop, forming extensive ground cover and vegetative biomass, providing a very high productivity over a short period of time. This study investigated the effects of cultivation (type of growing conditions and N fertilization rates) on biomass yields and changes in the structure of the switchgrass phytocenosis in different types of cropping systems. The biomass yields in stripe and mixed crops were higher than in single crops in the third year of cultivation. Switchgrass plants in intercrops were characterized by a greater height and number of shoots per unit area compared to mixed crops and monocultures. Biomass yields increased with each year of this research. The maximum biomass yields were attained with 30 kg ha−1 of N fertilization and the minimum yields where there was no fertilization.


switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivation; marginal land; plant biomass; biofuel

Full Text:



Elbersen W, Poppens R, Bakker R. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). A perennial biomass grass for efficient production of feedstock for the biobased economy. A report for the Netherlands Programmes Sustainable Biomass of NL Agency [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2019 Aug 2]. Available from: https://www.switchgrass.nl/upload_mm/3/1/c/43a0617e-135e-4ca3-a652-


Kurylo VL, Raxmetov DB, Kulyk MI. Biological features and potential of crop yields of energy cultures in the conditions of Ukraine. Bulletin of Poltava State Agrarian Academy. 2018;1:11–17.

Knight B, Westwood A. World biomass review. Biomass as a global power source. Fuel and Energy Abstracts. 2005;46(4):280. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6701(05)81938-1

Muir JP, Sanderson MA, Ocumpaugh WR, Jones RM, Reed RL. Biomass production of ‘Alamo’ switchgrass in response to nitrogen, phosphorus, and row spacing. Agron J. 2001;93:896–901. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2001.934896x

Lee DK, Boe A. Biomass production of switchgrass in Central South Dakota. Crop Sci. 2005;45(6):2583–2590. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2005.04-0003

González-Sánchez EJ, Ordóñez-Fernández R, Carbonell-Bojollo R, Veroz-González O, Gil-Ribes JA. Meta-analysis on atmospheric carbon capture in Spain through the use of conservation agriculture. Soil Tillage Res. 2012;122:52–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.STILL.2012.03.001

Aguilera E, Lassaletta L, Gattinger A, Gimeno BS. Managing soil carbon for climate change mitigation and adaptation in Mediterranean cropping systems: a meta-analysis. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2013;168:25–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.AGEE.2013.02.003

Lemus R, Lal R. Bioenergy crops and carbon sequestration. Crit Rev Plant Sci. 2005;24(1):1–21. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352680590910393

Frank AB, Berdahl JD, Hanson JD, Liebig MA, Johnson HA. Biomass and carbon partitioning in switchgrass. Crop Sci. 2004;44(4):1391–1396. https://doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2004.1391

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as an alternative energy crop in Europe. Initiation of a productivity network [Internet]. 2001 [cited 2019 Aug 2]. Available from: https://www.switchgrass.nl/upload_mm/6/3/7/c9842903-b468-436a-8412-


Robbins MP, Evans G, Valentine J, Donnison IS, Allison GG. New opportunities for the exploitation of energy crops by thermochemical conversion in Northern Europe and the UK. Prog Energy Combust Sci. 2012;38(2):138–155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecs.2011.08.001

UPOV. Guidelines for the conduct for tests of distinctness,uniformity and stability [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2019 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.upov.int/edocs/tgdocs/en/tg248.pdf

Carlsson G, Mårtensson LM, Prade T, Svensson S, Jensen ES. Perennial species mixtures for multifunctional production of biomass on marginal land. Glob Change Biol Bioenergy. 2016;9(1):191–201. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12373

Yang L, Merrick P, Zhengzhi Z, Chonghui J, Yang B, Shui‐zhang F. Targeted mutagenesis in tetraploid switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) using CRISPR/Cas9. Plant Biotechnol J. 2018;16(2):381–393. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12778

Luigi L, Deligios PA, Farci R, Sulas L. Biomass supply for energetic purposes from some Cardueae species grown in Mediterranean farming systems. Ind Crops Prod. 2013;47:218–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.03.013

Dybzinski R, Fargione JE, Zak DR, Fornara D, Tilman D. Soil fertility increases with plant species diversity in a long-term biodiversity experiment. Oecologia. 2008;158(1):85–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-008-1123-x

Palmborg C, Scherer‐Lorenzen M, Jumpponen A, Carlsson G, Huss‐Danell K, Högberg P. Inorganic soil nitrogen under grassland plant communities of different species composition and diversity. Oikos. 2005;110(2):271–282. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13673.x

Tilman D, Hill J, Lehman C. Carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass. Science. 2006;314(5805):1598–1600. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1133306

Andersona EK, Parrisha AS, Voigt TB, Owens VN, Hong CH, Lee DK. Nitrogen fertility and harvest management of switchgrass for sustainable bioenergy feedstock production in Illinois. Ind Crops Prod. 2013;48:19–27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.03.029

Vogel KP, Brejda JJ, Walters DT, Buxton DR. Switchgrass biomass production in the Midwest USA: harvest and nitrogen management. Agron J. 2002;94:413–420. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2002.0413

Lemus R, Brummer CE, Burras CL, Moore KJ, Barker MF, Molstad NE. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on biomass yield and quality in large fields of established switchgrass in southern Iowa, USA. Biomass Bioenergy. 2008;32(12):1187. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2008.02.016

Miesel JR, Jach-Smith LC, Renz MJ, Jackson RD. Distribution of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) aboveground biomass in response to nitrogen addition and across harvest dates. Biomass Bioenergy. 2017;100:74–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.03.012

Helton TJ, Butler TJ, McFarland ML, Hons FM, Mukhtar S, Muir JP. Effects of dairy manure compost and supplemental inorganic fertilizer on ‘Coastal’ bermudagrass. Agron J. 2008;100:924–930. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2007.0305