New Value Chain Possibilities for Grass-to-Gas Explored

Dec. 14 presentation features Iowa State University’s Lisa Schulte Moore presenting initial modeling results on a ‘Grass-to-Gas’ value chain

December 8, 2022, 12:02 pm | Alena Whitaker

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place Dec. 14 at noon CST will feature Lisa Schulte Moore, professor of natural resource ecology and management, co-director of the Bioeconomy Institute, Iowa State University.

In the webinar, “Understanding the Opportunities and Challenges of Grass-to-Gas: An Integrated Modeling Study from the Grand River Watershed of Iowa and Missouri,” Schulte Moore will report on an interdisciplinary modeling approach developed to demonstrate potential financial and ecosystem service outcomes of strategically restoring grassland cover for renewable natural gas production.

Lisa Schulte Moore.Schulte Moore conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions. Her research addresses the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to support new agricultural markets and to meet societal goals for healthy soils, clean water, abundant wildlife and inspiring recreational opportunities.

Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

Schulte Moore will highlight research that investigates how a grass-to-gas value chain would need to be configured in order to return value to both people and the land prior to on-the-ground testing that will occur through the Horizon II USDA Climate-smart Commodities Project. The research is funded by a Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant from the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Schulte Moore will also outline assessment activities which include ecosystem service and financial aspects of grass production, and technoeconomic and life-cycle assessment of renewable natural gas production.

“Grass-to-gas is a novel value chain that could potentially help farmers provide a fuller suite of goods and services that society is asking for – including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, clean water and improved wildlife habitat – and also provide new revenue streams to pay for it,” said Schulte Moore. “Our research informs on-the-ground project development associated with the USDA Climate-smart project. We expect the value chain to offer several advantages over previous efforts toward cellulosic biofuel production, including the opportunity for layered income streams. I hope people are willing to give it a chance. We need more creative, new ways to return more value from agriculture to people and the land. Who knows? Grass-to- just might work!”

Participants are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CST, Dec. 14:

The webinar will also be recorded and archived. All archived webinars are available on the Learning Farms website, so that they can be watched at any time.

Learning Farms has applied for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit for attending this webinar. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming webinars in the series

  • Dec. 21: Etienne Herrick, University of Michigan.
  • Jan. 4, 2023: Keith Schilling, University of Iowa.
  • Jan. 11, 2023: Joe Otto, Soil and Water Conservation Society.
  • Jan. 18, 2023: Lee Burras, Iowa State University.

Shareable photo: 1. Lisa Schulte Moore. 2. Smithfield Ruckman Farm.

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