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WCROC, CVEC to demonstrate corn cob collection

The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company and the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris have scheduled public demonstrations of corn cob biomass collection next month.

The demonstrations are:

• Oct. 7 -- 7610 County Road 1 NW, four miles south of Priam.

• Oct. 15 -- 2-1/2 miles West of Highway 59 on County Road 22, Holloway.

• Oct. 23 -- 57002 180th St., Donnelly.

The time of each event will be from 10 a.m. until around 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Both CVEC and the University of Minnesota, Morris have recently commissioned biomass gasification systems to displace natural gas energy in their operations. The organizations see corn cob biomass as perhaps the most economical and sustainable form of biomass in West-Central Minnesota.

This summer, CVEC and WCROC received a total of $250,000 in grants from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, AURI and the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council to demonstrate and evaluate corn cob collection strategies.

The systems that will be demonstrated will be the Vermeer CCX770 Cob Harvester - a pull-behind cob collection system and the Ceres Ag Residue Recovery System which is designed to mount directly on the corn combine.

CVEC Biomass Coordinator, Gene Fynboh has finalized enrollment for the 5,000 acre collection with cooperative members and he has selected these three sites for the demonstration.

Staff from the WCROC will assist in the demonstrations and will conduct yield analysis and quality monitoring of the collected cobs. Corn cobs from this study will be gasified in both the CVEC system and the new biomass gasifier that was recently commissioned at the UMM campus in Morris. The WCROC will coordinate the creation of a cob collection video and an Outreach packet that will serve as a "how-to" guide to Minnesota corn farmers who want to get in the cob biomass business.