'Second generation' bioenergy crops topic of meeting

October 6, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension will co-host a meeting in Wabash on opportunities and available technology for "second generation" bioenergy crops.

The meeting will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Wabash County REMC at 350 Wedcor Ave. Doors will open at 9 a.m.

Renewable energy Extension specialist Chad Martin stressed the importance of providing education on second-generation bioenergy sources such as switchgrass and other warm-season grasses. He said the meeting will be helpful to farmers, agribusiness professionals, Extension educators, state and federal agricultural staff, energy entrepreneurs, biofuel refinery employees and others interested in biofuels.

"With the emergence of second-generation biofuel facilities in Iowa and the talk of more proposed facilities throughout the Corn Belt, it is critical that those involved in all sectors of the bioenergy feedstock supply chain be aware of the opportunities and technologies available to meet this emerging market," said Martin, an organizer of the meeting who will give the welcoming.

Martin recently attended a conference in Iowa that focused on exploring conservation agriculture practices and bioenergy grass production. He toured DuPont's new second-generation cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, that will be capable of producing 30 million gallons a year.  

At the Extension meeting, bioenergy experts will give presentations in the morning and field demonstrations in the afternoon. Bus transportation will be provided.

Topics and presenters:

* "Policy Update for Bioenergy Production." Wally Tyner, energy policy specialist with the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics.

* "Cornrower Stover Recovery Equipment."  Jim Straeter, inventor of the Cornrower.

* "Precision Ag Technology for Biomass Recovery." David Muth, senior vice president of analytics at AgSolver Inc.

* "Conversion Technology Update." Nate Mosier, Purdue associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering.

* "Watershed Benefits Growing Second-Generation Bioenergy Crops." Cibin Raj, Purdue postdoctoral research associate of agricultural and biological engineering.

* "Warm-Season Grass Production Observations and Results."  Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist.

The afternoon portion of the meeting will be a bus tour of a CenUSA Bioenergy demonstration plot of switchgrass and other warm-season grasses at the Sweeten Farm near Roann. CenUSA, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is a project in which Purdue and several universities are researching and demonstrating the production of switchgrass varieties on various soil types and climates, measuring yields and observing conservation benefits.

Participants also will see the Cornrower harvesting and collecting corn stover as demonstrated by Rochester New Holland Inc.

 To register, contact Curt Campbell at cecampbe@purdue.edu by Oct. 23. Registration fee of $25 is due the day of the event. Checks should be made payable to Purdue University-Wabash County Education Fund. Registrants should specify any food or transportation needs.

Other sponsors of the event are CenUSA Bioenergy, Claas Forage Harvesting Equipment and the Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group. 

Writer: Carlee Glassburn, 765-496-2384, cglassbu@purdue.edu 

Source: Chad Martin, 765-496-3964, martin95@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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