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Federal grant to help agriculture

A $500,000 federal grant to Oklahoma State University will have a threefold effect on Oklahoma agriculture, according to Rod Will, OSU silviculture professor.

The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, brings three potential benefits to Oklahoma, he said. Removal of the invasive red cedars is No. 1.

"The trees are a suitable biofuel feedstock for both the production of gaseous and liquid fuel," he said. "No. 2 will be the increased quality and quantity of available water for other uses. And finally, the removal of red cedar will allow restoration of native prairie grasses or establishment of switchgrass as a dedicated feedstock for biomass energy production.

"Our long-term goal is to quantify the effects of biofuel feedstock selection and management on water yield and its associated quantity. Our overall objective is to measure a water budget and evaluate water quality for red cedar woodlands, intensively cropped switchgrass and extensively managed native grasslands."

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