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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A New Look at on-Farm Production of Energy Products from Grass Seed Straw

Authors
item Steiner, Jeffrey
item Banowetz, Gary

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Canadian Forage and Turf Seed Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 31, 2003
Publication Date: January 31, 2004
Citation: Steiner, J.J., Banowetz, G.M. 2004. A new look at on-farm production of energy products from grass seed straw. Proceedings of the Canadian Forage and Turf Seed Conference.Winter: p. 15-17.

Interpretive Summary: Cooperative research involving USDA-ARS, Western Research Institute, and Taylor Energy should lead to the testing of an on-farm gasification reactor that will convert grass seed straw into high-quality syngas. Syngas can be used as fuel for powering an electrical generator or be converted directly into liquid fuel. The on-farm approach to generate income from energy differs from mid-western North America strategies where energy crops grown for energy production are shipped to large centralized conversion plants. The Northwest strategy utilizes crop residues that remain after already economic crop production and will produce value-added income for farmers.

Technical Abstract: Grass seed agriculture occupies over 612,000 acres in the Pacific Northwest. Great reductions in historic levels of field burning in Oregon and Washington, with similar outcomes expected for Idaho as well as regional wheat production, have left most grass seed farmers with more than 1-million tons of straw to dispose of annually. Some straw is needed for conservation purposes, but for most that is removed, seed farmers receive very little if any income from straw shipped as animal feed to markets in Asia and Canada. Since grass seed production is generally profitable, any income received from secondary products made from straw could be viewed as value-added and not affecting the base of seed production acreage. Cooperative research involving USDA-ARS, Western Research Institute, and Taylor Energy should lead to the testing of an on-farm gasification reactor that will convert grass seed straw into high-quality syngas. The approach of producing on-farm income from energy differs from mid-western North America strategies where energy crops grown as feedstocks for energy production replaces crop acreage utilized for human or animal consumption markets.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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