The elephant grass has gained prominence as one of the main forage species used for biomass production. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify elephant grass genotypes with high energy biomass production potential by evaluating morpho-agronomic and biomass quality. The following traits were evaluated in this study: dry matter yield (DMY), percentage of whole-plant dry matter (%DM), percentage of neutral detergent fiber (%NDF), percentage of acid detergent fiber (%ADF); percentage of cellulose (%CEL), percentage of lignin (%LIG), percentage of carbon (%C), percentage of nitrogen (%N), and carbon: nitrogen ratio (C: N). Five different production ages were evaluated, and significant differences were observed for the variable DMY. The harvests performed at 20 and 24 weeks of age, provided the best response for biomass energy production (DMY) from elephant grass, averaging 20.50 and 23.77 t.ha−1. The genotypes that most stood out during the evaluation period at the five production ages were King Grass, Mole de Volta Grande, and Mercker 86 - México. Genotypes Mole de Volta Grande and King Grass are the most suitable for elephant grass breeding programs aimed at biomass energy production in the conditions of Campos dos Goytacazes - RJ, Brazil.
Key words: Bioenergy, biomass quality, carbon: nitrogen ratios, Pennisetum purpureum Shum, yield.
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