Emily Heaton

Agricultural landscapes face increasing pressure to provide the four F's: food, feed, fiber and fuel, while simultaneously maintaining the ecosystem functions that support life as we know it. Done prudently, dedicated biomass crops can provide feedstock for bioenergy and bioproducts while also enhancing the natural resource base.

The Biomass Crop Production and Physiology Lab, led by Dr. Emily Heaton, aims to understand the growth and productivity of dedicated biomass crops in the Midwest, and how they can be managed to provide multiple ecosystem services.

Emily Heaton, biomass crop agronomy
September 29, 2020 3:11 PM

Prairie potholes?! What are they? Prairie potholes are low-lying, poorly drained soils that are prone to flooding. The...

Crop Production
August 3, 2020 8:08 PM

In the interview, “A Farmer’s Journey with Miscanthus: Part 1,” we learned about Steve Schomberg and his involvement with growing miscanthus for the University of Iowa power plant. Steve has also been working with Koch Angus Farms, a cattle production farm near Letts, Iowa for the last four...

Crop Production
July 27, 2020 6:12 PM

Growing up on his family’s farm, Steve Schomberg learned the importance of environmentalism by his father. Conservation and sustainability remained central to Steve’s life while he worked at the University of Illinois, which is where he first learned about miscanthus and its use as a biomass...

Crop Production
April 10, 2020 3:10 PM

By Madelynn Connell and Emily Heaton 

Many people in the Midwest have recently experienced the bitter-cold temperatures brought on by arctic air falling into the mid-latitudes. While these temperatures can make people rather uncomfortable, they are also potentially dangerous to miscanthus...

Crop Production
April 2, 2020 4:00 PM

Wisconsin has been proudly known as America’s Dairyland for many years. However, recent data on dairy farms in the Driftless Region (Figure 1)...

Crop Production
March 6, 2020 11:47 AM

research plots, field and blue sky.
Miscanthus research plots at Iowa...

Crop Production
February 21, 2020 12:59 PM

Current and Future Miscanthus in Iowa


Crop Production
November 22, 2019 9:58 AM

Register for the University of Iowa Biomass Fuel Project Update Meeting! 

Friday December 13th @ 10-11:30AM (public meeting)

Linn County Extension Office


Crop Production
June 14, 2019 9:28 AM

Miscanthus has to be harvested all at once and must be stored for later use every season.  Standing miscanthus fields are harvested with a forage chopper or self-propelled mower conditioner (as previously discussed in our...

Crop Production
May 3, 2019 8:50 AM

Have you been driving in rural eastern Iowa lately? You might have noticed those choppers and wagons a few weeks ago harvesting miscanthus fields, but what have you seen most recently? Planters! You might have noticed that they don’t look like the grain planters most of us are used to seeing....

Crop Production
April 22, 2019 2:07 PM

If you have been driving in rural eastern Iowa and noticed a lot of choppers and wagons, you might have been seeing the UI Biomass Fuel Project Miscanthus harvest.

Crop Production
April 16, 2019 11:30 AM

Today, we will take a quick trip around the world to explore how other cultures have used miscanthus. East Asian cultures incorporated miscanthus into their everyday lives: paintings, toys, household items, rituals, and in some cases medicinal uses.

Crop Production
February 12, 2019 4:20 PM

Welcome to ISU Biomass, led by the Heaton Lab at Iowa State University. Together with our partners, we work to integrate perennial crops into the annual crop landscape to improve economic, environmental, and social outcomes. One of our focus areas is the production and ecophysiology of giant...

Crop Production