Shrub willow varieties used in SRWC demonstrate agronomical properties making them highly suitable for the production of homogenous biomass. These are :
- A high tolerance to poorly-drained and non-productive soils;
- A winter hardiness suitable for most southern regions of Canada ;
- A growth vigor yielding 8 to 15 oven-dry tons per hectare annually over a period of 25 to 30 years.
Fall of the second growth year, St-Roch-de-l’Achigan
These biological traits make short-rotation willow coppice a potential strategy to put back into use the thousand of acreages of idle and under-utilized farmland currently available in Canada. It is therefore possible to envision the development of an agricultural sector dedicated to the production of biofuels and other high value-added bioproducts without disrupting Canada’s food supply.