Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy
Governor Participates in Kentucky’s First Biofuel Miscanthus Planting
FRANKFORT, KY (May 13, 2009) - Gov. Steve Beshear today participated in Kentucky’s first biofuel Miscanthus planting at Midwestern Biofuels near South Shore, Ky.
Gov. Steve Beshear planted the inaugural plug for a 300-acre field of Miscanthus. When full grown the Miscanthus will be harvested and pelletized to burn in conjunction with coal.
“This project is a natural fit for both this area of Greenup County and for the state in general,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky can capitalize on the new technology in biofuels and biomass production within today’s renewable energy industries and help the state and nation become more energy independent.”
Miscanthus is a perennial grass known mainly in the US as an ornamental grass going by names such as Chinese silver grass and maiden grass. It grows in poor soil, requires virtually no fertilizer, and is viable for at least 20 years. Miscanthus plugs can be planted with a tobacco transplanter and, when harvested, yields more biofuel per acre than either corn or switchgrass.
“It’s good to have a leader with the foresight shown by Governor Beshear not only for the state of Kentucky, but also for the world, regarding the reduction of carbon emissions in energy production,” said Jeff Lowe, President of Midwestern Biofuels, LLC.
Midwestern Biofuels will be seeking farmers in a 50-mile radius of South Shore to grow Miscanthus as a crop. The company will pay farmers an established rate per acre to plant
Miscanthus and buy their entire yield.
For more information about this project or growing a Miscanthus crop for Midwestern Biofuels, contact Jeff Lowe, president, at (606) 922-9299.