Switchgrass is a warm-season perennial grass native to much of the United States. Over the last few years, switchgrass has received renewed interest as a renewable fuel source, since it produces large amounts of cellulose that can be digested and converted to ethanol. The high yields and environmental adaptability of switchgrass make it an excellent choice for biofuel feedstock production.
While there has been a great deal of media attention about the merits of switchgrass as a biofuel feedstock, many are less familiar with the potential of switchgrass as a forage crop. Switchgrass, like a number of other native warm-season grasses (NWSG), can actually produce high-quality forage. Yields of 2-5 tons per acre can be expected, depending on rainfall and soil type, as well as other environmental conditions. The nutrient content of this forage can be as high as 16-17 percent crude protein, if harvested correctly.
"SP701-B-Using Switchgrass for Forage," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP701B-5M-3/08(Rep) R12-4110-070-012-08 08-0166, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexbiof/7