(Posted Mon. Jun 11th, 2012)
June 11: Last week, luminaries from agribusiness, academia and farming gathered in Indianapolis for the National Corn Growers Association’s 2012 Corn Utilization Technology Conference, where they examined the cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve the corn industry. The biennial event, which featured additional sessions on mycotoxin for the first time, helped share a knowledge base and build the relationships that play a vital role in maintaining a vibrant, innovative market for the most abundant crop grown in our nation.
The important work done here was made possible by a group of sponsors dedicated to the future of American agriculture, including platinum-level sponsor Monsanto. NCGA’s Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Monsanto End Use Product Manager Steve Petersen to discuss the opportunities that scientists hope to create for farmers as they explore innovative uses for corn stover.
With yields on the rise, Petersen explained that farmers face increases in the amount of stover produced by each crop also.
“As we increase yields, and Monsanto has committed to doubling yields by 2030, the amount of residue, or stover, left in the field becomes an issue impeding the next year’s crop, particularly as more farmers move toward continuous corn operations,” explained Petersen. “As we see issues with planting and seed-to-soil contact, we look for ways to turn stover from a byproduct that requires removal into a coproduct which can have real value for growers that they can capture in a sustainable, long-term way.”
Petersen went on to explain the work Monsanto has already completed in its attempts to meet this goal.
“About five years ago, we started a project, together with several like-minded agribusinesses, to look at the real stover issues facing farmers on the ground look like,” he said. “Particularly, we explored how much stove farmers can remove from the ground sustainably as yields grow. We found that we can actually grind stover both for feed and energy on a commercial basis. At the same time, we learned that it is possible to remove stover in a sustainable fashion while have a positive impact on yields and, in the end, a positive economic impact for the growers.”
Petersen went on to address findings on the considerations that play a role in ensuring stover removal is performed in a sustainable fashion and where this effort might lead in the future.
To listen to the full interview, click here.
To learn more about the exciting opportunities discussed during CUTC, click here.