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In the Spotlight

Alternate Markets for Dedicated Grass Energy Crops: Fact Sheet, Research White Paper Available
NEWBio and Penn State Extension add a recently-published renewable and alternative energy fact sheet to a growing library supporting biomass and bioenergy markets. As the market develops for commercial energy production, biomass growers look for additional non-energy market opportunities for their crops. The fact sheet discusses animal bedding, absorbent material, compost and mulch, and fiber, fill, packaging and biomaterial markets.

Additional investigation into market opportunities was conducted by Penn State Smeal College of Business researchers Kusumal Ruamsook and Evelyn Thomchick, with the Center for Supply Chain Research. Their results were presented as part of a May 2014 NEWBio Bioenergy Short Course and summarized in Market Opportunities for Lignocellulosic Biomass. The background paper is available upon request (email

Bioeconomy Tool Shed Added to USDA Energy Web
The USDA broadly defines bioeconomy to include renewable energy (fuels, heat and power) and biobased products. Interactive tools will help users and stakeholders identify at National, state and county levels the logistics, enviromental linkages, and economic linkages across feedstock production. The Biorefinery Stakeholder Information System is the first tool to populate the website, to assist in the evaluation process when locating a biorefinery. Public officials, investors or lenders, and farmers and landowners are provided separate sections that offer an overview of data and relevant information, with mapping and estimated crop production value calculators.

Switchgrass Budget for Bioenergy Production Published
NEWBio adds an enterprise switchgrass budget and costing estimator spreadsheet to its growing library of tools to assist and inform landowners and farmers considering growing biomass crops. The fact sheet provides a detailed example budget and describes site preparation, soil amendments, planting, weed control, maintenance and harvesting costs. Both the budget and the costing estimator are available here.


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