Iowa Learning Farms’ July webinar focuses on growing miscanthus for biofuel energy

Ames, Iowa— The Iowa Learning Farms’ (ILF) July webinar, to be held Wednesday, July 20 at Noon, will feature Emily Heaton, who will present “Giant Miscanthus and other perennial energy crops.” The webinar is part of a series, hosted by ILF, held on the third Wednesday of each month. The webinars are held over the noon hour through Adobe Connect. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

Emily Heaton is an assistant professor of agronomy at Iowa State University, focusing on biomass crop production and physiology. While pursuing her doctorate in crop sciences at the University of Illinois, she pioneered and led research comparing the biomass production of Miscanthus and switchgrass in the U.S., research that indicated Miscanthus could produce 250 percent more ethanol than corn, without requiring additional land. Heaton joined ISU from Ceres, a plant genetics company in California that specializes in biomass crop breeding for fuel. At Iowa State, Heaton focuses on best management practices for perennial energy crops, with particular emphasis on Miscanthus and switchgrass.

To connect to the webinars, go to: object-reference-not-set-instance-object.  Heaton will be able to answer questions from webinar “attendees” via the Adobe Connect chat box. The ILF website homepage contains links for archived webinars from previous months: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf.

Upcoming webinars include: ISU Agronomy professor Richard Cruse will discuss the report “Losing Ground” in August; Drake University Agricultural Law Center fellow Edward Cox will present information on the land tenure project with the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in September. Please contact ILF with other topic ideas for future webinar sessions.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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