Source: Ceres Inc. news release

Energy crop company Ceres Inc. announced today that it will work with University of Georgia researchers to develop new high-yielding switchgrass seed varieties and improved crop management techniques for the southeastern United States.

Switchgrass, which can reach yields of 6 to 10 dry tons or more in the Southeast, is considered an ideal raw material for next-generation biofuels and biopower.

The multi-year project will bring together plant breeders, agronomists and support scientists at Ceres and the University of Georgia to develop improved seed varieties. Field researchers will also evaluate cropping practices in the Southeast, adapting developments made by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, an Oklahoma-based agricultural research institution with which Ceres has a long-term product development collaboration.

"This project allows us to expand our internal and collaborative plant breeding activities in a region where we believe the industry will have a strong presence," said Ceres plant breeding director Jeff Gwyn, Ph.D. He said that University of Georgia has experienced researchers and a well-regarded collection of switchgrass breeding materials and germplasm