Corn Stover Gains Attention in Iowa for Industrial Uses

Corn stover, used for decades as silage and bedding, is now being harvested for industrial use. Currently in Iowa, two cellulosic ethanol plants have biomass needs for corn stover. Producers can learn about engineering, agronomic and financial issues related to corn stover harvest in a new series of fact sheets from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The fact sheets, available online at www.extension.iastate.edu/stover, were developed by a corn stover harvest team at Iowa State. The team was formed to address the benefits and constraints of stover harvesting and its sustainable management within Iowa corn production. The Iowa State specialists share the results from several years of research in 21 fact sheets, which were developed with partial funding from the Iowa Energy Center.

According to Kapil Arora, team coordinator, the decision to participate in this industrial supply chain must be evaluated on a field by field basis to ensure stover harvest can be performed sustainably. The publications provide a comprehensive insight for producers into the constraints and the benefits of the industrial scale corn stover harvest process.

Along with the fact sheets, the stover harvest website includes an Ask the Expert function for producers with specific questions. For more information about this or other ISU Extension and Outreach Agriculture and Natural Resources programs, contact a local county extension office.

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