Figure 1. Emily Heaton next to a stand of Giant Miscanthus on Caveny Farm, Monticello, IL. Each mark on the post = 1 foot. Photo Credit: John Caveny
Figure 2.Approximate growing range of Giant Miscanthus in the US. Giant Miscanthus is best suited for areas with at least 30 inches of rain per year, with better results as rainfall increases. Giant Miscanthus can tolerate wet soils and dry matter yield is directly correlated to seasonal precipitation.
Figure 3.The average annual biomass yields of Giant Miscanthus and switchgrass harvested from 3 locations in Illinois during 2004-2006 (adapted from Heaton et al, 2008).
Figure 4. Representation of the hybrid origins of Giant Miscanthus (M. x giganteus), a naturally occurring hybrid grass first collected in Asia for use as an ornamental plant, and more recently for bioenergy.
Figure 5.The pictures show steps in the propagation of Giant Miscanthus dug from the field then propagated in the greenhouse. The white, cone-shaped structures are small rhizomes, the primary reproductive organ for Giant Miscanthus. Photo credit: Emily Heaton.
Figure 5. Projected peak dry matter yields of Giant Miscanthus in Illinois (adapted from Heaton et al., (2004)).
Figure 4. A variety of conventional hay forage equipment is suitable for Giant Miscanthus harvest. Photo credits: Emily Heaton and Carl Hart.
Figure 5.Proximate analysis of Giant Miscanthus harvested from Caveny Farms and the University of Illinois. Reduced ash contents in the Caveny Farm feedstock may result from chopping instead of mowing and baling the feedstock, thus avoiding soil contamination. Provided courtesy of Caveny Farms.
Table 4. Annual and extended project costs and profits for two cropping systems in central Illinois over a 10 year period (Heaton et al. 2004).