Developing Markets for Warm Season Grass within the Pennsylvania Farm Community

Project Overview

ONE18-320
Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2018: $14,993.00
Projected End Date: 08/26/2019
Grant Recipient: Penn Soil RC&D Council
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Michael Palko
Biomass Renewable Energy LLC

Information Products

Commodities

  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial)

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health
  • Energy: renewable energy
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management, new enterprise development, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration, habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, soil stabilization
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal is to conduct a marketing campaign that highlights the economic and environmental benefits from using warm season grass and how using these alternative crops adds to the sustainability and profitability of Pennsylvania’s farms and farm communities. Warm season grass performs better than traditionally used materials such as bedding straw or sawdust for example. The Association of Warm Season Grass Producers will launch a marketing campaign throughout Pennsylvania’s farming community to educate and promote the many economic and environmental benefits of warm season grass usage, will help farmers begin using warm season grass in their farming operations, will develop a catalogue of growers and sellers in each county in Pennsylvania, and will present the project’s marketing results and grass producer’s catalogue to the farm community.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    To launch a marketing campaign throughout Pennsylvania’s farming community that educates and promotes the many economic and environmental benefits of using warm season grasses, and to develop a catalogue of warm season grass growers and sellers within each county in Pennsylvania. The Association of Warm Season Grass Producers in partnership with the Pocono Northeast RC&D will reach out to at least 5,000 Pennsylvania farmers during 2018, will help them discover the many environmentally beneficial and cost-saving benefits of these grasses, illustrate their superior properties when compared with traditional hay-straw and sawdust products, and will help them begin using these grasses in their farming operations. The Association membership will conduct an inventory of growers and suppliers by county in Pennsylvania and publish a catalogue of those growers and suppliers to include producer’s location, product type (grass species), product form (round or square bales), price, availability, and delivery distance.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.