Research reports

Implications of corn producer participation in stover biomass markets and availability

Read the complete report: Implications of corn producer participation in stover biomass markets and availability

About this report:
Growing the next generation of renewable fuels is an important part the US government’s plan to adopt renewable energy technologies over the next few decades. These plans focus on the use of agricultural biomass, especially corn stover (corn residue left after harvest), to produce this biomass. This report looked to determine Minnesota corn producers interest in selling corn stover biomass, their knowledge of issues surrounding biomass harvest, factors that are likely to influence their opinions of biomass harvesting, and what information they may need before forming their opinions. A survey was sent to various biomass producers in Minnesota. It also evaluated where facilities would be best able to find willing stover suppliers.

A range of participation levels were reported; 38 percent were undecided about selling biomass, 40 percent were interested and 21 percent were not interested in selling biomass. The most available biomass for producers to sell is stover, although many responses did not give an estimate as to how much yield they could provide. The results also suggests that although a good number of producers had heard about biomass harvesting; there was still a significant portion who didn’t feel they had the knowledge to make biomass harvesting management decisions.

Project outcomes:
There is interest in supplying corn stover for energy, which could advance renewable energy options in Minnesota. More education needs to be provided to move this effort forward.

University of Minnesota –Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment
Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council

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