Farmers Look At Stover To Meet Needs Of Iowa's Biomass Industry

Farmers Look At Stover To Meet Needs Of Iowa's Biomass Industry

Three meetings in January will address emerging opportunities related to corn stover harvesting for biomass feedstock use.

Opportunities to harvest corn stover exist in two regions of Iowa – near Nevada in central Iowa and near Emmetsburg in northern Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three meetings in January to address emerging opportunities related to stover harvesting for the biomass feedstock needs of local industries.

CORN STOVER HARVEST: New industries are popping up in Iowa that will use corn stover to make cellulosic ethanol and other industrial products. As a result, there are many questions being raised about the best methods for harvesting and storing stover, cost and financial benefits of stover harvest and whether stover is a positive or negative operation in terms of sustainability of soils.

The central Iowa meeting will be held Jan. 6 at the Leonard Good Learning Center in Ogden. This meeting is in collaboration with DuPont. The northern Iowa meetings will be held Jan. 14 at the Clay County Regional Events Center in Spencer and Jan. 21 at Water's Edge Events Center in Algona. The northern Iowa meetings are in collaboration with POET-DSM. All three meetings will start at 9:45 a.m.

Stover harvesting can impact economic, agronomic and water quality production factors. The meetings will address many of the positives and negatives of stover harvesting and discuss how stover harvesting can be managed within corn production. Crop producers, land owners, crop consultants, agronomists, service providers and others with an interest in stover harvesting, marketing and its removal from farm fields are encouraged to attend.

A number of speakers will cover important topics related to this new industry and how farmers can participate

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach meeting speakers include: Mark Licht and Paul Kassel, field agronomists; Kelvin Leibold, Melissa O'Rourke and Kristen Schulte, farm management specialists; and Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist. Industry speakers on the agenda include: David Ertl, technology commercialization manager, Iowa Corn Growers Association; Dennis Penland, DuPont business development manager; Andy Heggenstaller, agronomy research manager, DuPont-Pioneer; B.J. Schany, commodities manager, POET-DSM; and Steve Petersen, end use product manager, Monsanto Corn Crop Management. Barb Stewart, state agronomist, will present the USDA-NRCS perspective on soil health and stover removal at these meetings.

A noon lunch will be sponsored by industry partners during the meeting at no cost to the participants, however pre-registration is required. Industry representatives will be available to meet with participants during lunch and at the close of the meeting. The meetings are funded in part by a grant from Iowa Energy Center.

Meeting registrations—dates, times and locations

Jan. 6 – Boone County. Register with the Boone County Extension Office by calling 515-432-3882, or online.

Jan. 14 – Clay County. Register with the Clay County Extension Office by calling 712-262-2264, or online.

Jan. 21 – Kossuth County. Register with the Kossuth County Extension Office by calling 515-295-2469, or online.

There is no fee to attend the meetings. Registration is required for correct meal and handout counts. Walk-in registration the day of the meeting will only be accepted if space is available.

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