News last update:6 Aug 2012

Ag giants invest in crop residue research

Archer Daniels Midland Co., Deere & Co., and Monsanto Co. have agreed to collaborate on research to explore technologies and processes to turn crop residues into feed and bioenergy products.

As part of the venture, the companies will work together to identify environmentally and economically sustainable methods for the harvest, storage and transport of corn stover.

This leftover, which comprises the stalks, leaves and cobs of corn plants, may be used in feed for animals, as biomass to generate steam and electricity or as a cellulosic feedstock for biofuel production.

After harvest corn stover normally is left on the field, where it helps reduce soil erosion and build up soil organic matter.

According to the companies, using crop residues for multiple purposes may allow farmers to produce more products without farming more acres, and increase the value derived from their land.

The announcement comes a little more than a month after the three companies, along with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. and the Renewable Fuels Association, teamed up to form the Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy, an organization committed to sustainably and responsibly improving diets and reducing dependence on fossil fuels through increased agricultural productivity.

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