More on the potential of biomass harvesting.
By Deborah Huso
The Benefit of Harvesting Corn Stover
- Partial stover harvest has shown to increase the next year’s corn yield by an average of 5.2%.
- Partial stover harvest also enables farmers to increase the number of times they can plant corn in consecutive years.
- Stover harvest allows for no- to low-till farming, which is healthier for the soil and the environment, as well as reducing wear and tear on equipment.
- Partial stover harvest reduces tillage allowing for savings on fuel and equipment costs.
- Management of residue lets a grower actively meet his soil management goals, while increasing his income from direct residue payments and contributing to lower farming costs.
Quick Biomass Stats*
- It’s estimated the Earth grows about 130 billion tons of biomass annually, which constitutes more than six times the world’s energy use.
- Globally, biomass is the fourth largest supplier of energy after coal, oil and natural gas, representing 14% of the world’s total energy supply.
- Corn-derived ethanol accounts for about 10% of U.S. gasoline consumption.
- Current estimates of corn stover supply stand at about 75 million tons per year.
- The exciting opportunity for biomass feedstock in the long run is not as ethanol for fuel, but as renewable bio-chemicals.
* Sources: Oak Ridge National Laboratory,U.S. Cooperative Extension Service and Pacific Ag