Ag giants invest in crop residue research

28-08-2008 | |

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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