Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of grass is this?
The scientific name of this grass species is Pennisetum purpureum of the Poaceae family of grasses. Common names include Elephant Grass, Bana Grass and Napier Grass.
What will this grass crop be used for?
Grass will be utilized as a feedstock in an Anerobic digester for the natural biological production of methane, a Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). This grass can also be used for ruminant animal feed (dairy and beef cattle), production of biodegradable plastics, pellets for thermal conversion, bioremediation to de-toxify soils with chemical pollutants, heavy metals and pesticides, build and fortify soils that have been impacted through agricultural mishandling and mitigating soil erosion.
Is this grass a GMO?
No. This grass is a natural Hybrid.
Is this grass invasive?
No. This grass crop is sterile, producing non-viable flowers that produce no seeds.
How is this grass planted?
Vegetatively. Planted very similar to sugarcane using billets, cuttings or planting units, grafts.
What kind of annual yield is expected?
This is a fast-growing grass, average yield of 150 wet tons per acre per year.
How often do you harvest this grass crop?
Depending on the growth height of the grass, at 4 to 5 ft up to 6 harvest per year (every 7 to 10 weeks), at 7 to 10 ft up to 4 harvest per year (Every 3 months), at 18 – 20 ft 2 harvest per year (Every 6 months).
Does this grass need to be replanted?
On average, 7 to 12 years, but mostly determined by the optimal acceptable yield production levels.
Are pesticides required?
No. This grass crops sugar content is made up of complex sugars making it undesirable to insects and pests.
What kind of water requirements are needed for this grass?
This is a very water tolerant crop but an adequate water supply of at least 3-4” of rainfall per acre per month will optimize annual yield results.
What type of irrigation requirements are needed for this grass?
Watering this grass is most effectively done by sprinkler or through a drip line. In most areas of Hawaii no supplemental irrigation is needed, especially in areas receiving 60 or more inches of rainfall per year.
How do you harvest this grass crop?
Utilizes mechanical harvesting equipment like a forage harvester or by hand. Similar to harvesting sugarcane and corn silage.
Is this a grass native to Hawaii?
No. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture imported several Pennisetum species in the mid 1970’s for windbreaks for the sugarcane and pineapple plantations, making them residents for at least, the last 50 years.
Can you grow this grass anywhere?
Yes. While it can be grown anywhere, optimal yields are only experienced when planted in tropical climates with adequate water. This grass species is a tropical grass and very susceptible to cold weather below 45 degrees.