Our research program is part of a multi-disciplinary (plant breeding, plant pathology, seed science, soil and crop science, agricultural economics, agricultural education, weed science, plant biology, biological and environmental engineering) renewable energy research effort focused on the production of perennial grasses for use as bioenergy feedstock for conversion to liquid fuels, gases and combustible products.
A broad range of extension outreach activities will be used to disseminate valuable information on perennial grass production for dedicated use as bioenergy feedstocks in New York State (NYS). These include a project web site, county extension newsletters, fact sheets, extension training sessions, field days, news releases, and TV interviews. The project has established field trials on active producer farms and on sites owned by educational institutions (SUNY - Morrisville, SUNY - Cobleskill, Belleville-Henderson Central School District, Greenwich Central School District, Verone-Verona-Sherrill High School and the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute. In addition, research plots have been established at the USDA/NRCS Plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY. Field day demonstrations and meetings on best management practices, seedling and disease identification will be held at the USDA/NRCS Plant Materials Center at Big Flats, NY, Cornell University, and on producer farms during the spring, summer and fall on an annual basis. As renewable energy technology advances, this project will provide up-to-date information on new developments in the industry through our web-site and newsletters. This information will enable NYS growers to make informative decisions concerning production of bioenergy crops. The constituents served are; emerging bioenergy industries, extension personnel, current and potential producers of perennial grass crops, idle landowners and the general public. Indicators of success will be quantified by the numbers of individuals participating in outreach activities, number of new producers, and feedback from industry, extension agents and educators on the project.