U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Biofuels (2013) 4(6), pp. 605–615.


U.S. government work.


Increased biomass crop production is essential for the development of sustainable bioenergy and bioproduct industries. Double cropping is one strategy that may help meet those goals, but in more northern latitudes traditional double cropping has been limited by a short growing season. However, since lignocellulosic biomass crops do not need to complete their lifecycle and produce seed, double cropping those species could be successful and provide several beneficial ecosystem services. This includes providing nearly year-round ground cover to reduce soil exposure to water and wind erosion, and diversifying landscapes to help mitigate the unintended consequences of many current agricultural practices. Double cropping could also offer management flexibility in response to weather and market factors, provided the net return is commensurate with current singlecrop, grain production practices. Currently available double crop information for the north central region of the USA is limited, so we conclude that such R&D is warranted.