When we tell people that our Earthable® sustainable packaging is made from feedstock crops like switchgrass and biomass sorghum, unless they have an ag background, many of them don’t know what we’re talking about.
The truth is that these crops are a great solution for making single-use disposable products like packaging and food service items. That’s because our products are annually renewable, compostable and domestically made here in the US. Unlike plastic and Styrofoam, they don’t use up fossil fuels and they don’t last in the environment for hundreds of years.
But it’s not just about the end product for us. There’s more to switchgrass and biomass sorghum that makes them suitable, profitable crops for farmers to grow.
Switchgrass is a low-input crop, meaning it needs lower amounts of fertilizer and weed control to thrive. In addition, once established, it will come back year after year without replanting. This crop will yield about six dry tons per acre per year and is baled at harvest with existing hay equipment, which occurs in winter.
In addition, switchgrass does well on lower-quality, underutilized agricultural land, making it a good way to put that land to good, profitable use for landowners.
Resembling super tall corn in the field, biomass sorghum also does well on under-utilized or low-productivity land. While it’s not a perennial like switchgrass, planting and harvesting can be accomplished with a farm’s existing equipment, and it doesn’t require much maintenance in between. Biomass sorghum will yield about seven dry tons per acre and is harvested in late summer or early fall.
Time to Diversify
Both of these crops can make excellent additions to local farms. Since they’re low-input and grow well on lower-quality land, switchgrass and biomass sorghum have the potential to add value and income to any landowner or farm operation.
Genera is currently recruiting East Tennessee farmers to grow switchgrass and biomass sorghum for our revolutionary Earthable® fiber pulp products. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, contact Genera online or call Feedstock Manager Brad Valentine at (423) 884-4119.