A dedicated energy crop seed company is taking seed orders for two new switchgrass varieties and two new high-biomass sorghum hybrids under its Blade Energy Crops brand, says Anna Rath, Ceres, Inc., vice president of commercial development.

“We believe that dedicated energy crops are a critical piece of the puzzle for a biofuel and biopower industry at commercial scale,” Rath says. “We wanted to be sure that these crops were available for those people who are starting to build this industry.”

The switchgrass varieties are EG 1101, an improved Alamo lowland type that offers higher yields and better establishment, and EG 1102, an improved Kanlow variety that is adapted farther north than EG 1101.

“We focused on characteristics that are going to make these crops convert well in a biofuel facility, establish well so growers will get good stands and also yield well,” Rath says.

The new high-biomass sorghum hybrids, ES 5200 and ES 5201, provide high yield potential in single-cut harvest systems.

“This year we will have two kinds of customers; the first is the actual companies building biofuel or biopower facilities. The second group: forward-thinking growers who see dedicated energy crops as the next big thing in agriculture and want to gain some experience with these crops.”

Ceres is also developing other biomass crops, including miscanthus and sweet sorghum. “We expect in the next couple of years to launch our first sweet sorghum hybrid,” she adds.

For more on Blade Energy Crops, visit www.bladeenergy.com or call 877-498-SEED.