Looking into giant reed

giant reedGiant reed can grow in Ohio. But should it? In a recent OARDC study (pdf; p. 35), the fast-growing plant survived winter, grew tall and thick, and gave “exceptional yields.” But the scientists said further research is needed on basic agronomy-related issues, such as weed control, and on whether the propagation methods used in the study will work on a field-scale level. There’s growing interest in giant reed as a big-producing biofuel crop. But there’s also concern about the risk it poses as a possible invasive species. Giant reed, which is native to Asia, has escaped and spread in the South and West. (Photo: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.)

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