Farmers can learn of the opportunities for growing and marketing profitable biomass crops adapted to southern Iowa soils and climate at a March 17 Biomass Crop Production Workshop to be held at Southwestern Community College in Creston, IA.

The workshop’s morning session will focus on using perennial grasses, such as miscanthus, and other biomass crops for energy production. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension specialists will focus on species selection, agronomics and the best fit in southern Iowa ag systems. Representatives from Show Me Energy Cooperative and SynGest will discuss using perennial grasses as homegrown energy, biomass markets and industry demand.

The afternoon program will feature presentations on fuels and chemicals from biomass, as well as federal support for bioenergy programs. Workshop participants will also learn about USDA’s Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which provides cost-share incentives for producers to establish, grow and harvest energy crops.

Registration is $20 through March 11 and $30 after that date. At-the-door registrations will also be accepted. The fee includes refreshments, lunch and class materials.

The workshop is sponsored by ISU Extension, Southern Iowa Resource Conservation and Development Area, south central Iowa soil and water conservation districts, and SynGest. See a brochure/register.