"Energy crops are plants that can be used to make biofuels. The ideal crop can be grown quickly and densely with as little input as possible from farmers on land that’s otherwise unusable by agrarians. Once harvested, these energy crops can be converted into biofuel through various processes.
Research into energy crops and advanced biofuels, like one particular project funded by ARPA-E, contributes to U.S. energy independence, creates jobs, and directly applies to increasing food crops production.
In late 2009, ARPA-E awarded Ceres, an energy crop company, $5 million to field test high-yield, low-input traits in grasses such as switchgrass, sorghum and miscanthus. Since then, Ceres has produced testgrass yields with up to 50 percent more biomass than other grasses—a promising indicator of success."