Combining Corn Cobs

Cindy Zimmerman

Poet-DeereEthanol producer POET is working with several leading agricultural equipment manufactures to refine methods for harvesting, storing and transporting corn cobs for commercial cellulosic ethanol production.

Among them is John Deere, according to public relations manager Barry Nelson, pictured here with POET CEO Jeff Broin. “On behalf of John Deere, we’re very interested in the new technologies that will be involved with the advancement of cellulosic ethanol,” said Nelson. “We’re designing and testing machines that can harvest the crops needed for ethanol production and see potential for expanded markets for our customers as the industry develops this renewable fuel resource.”

Deere Cob HarvestPOET is harvesting, storing, transporting and performing research on 4,000 acres of corn in South Dakota this fall in order to find the most efficient way for farmers to harvest cobs in large quantities. At a media event this week, some of the equipment was put to the test. In the photo from Poet, a John Deere 9860 STS Combine harvests co-mingled corn grain and cobs and dumps them into a Kinze Auger Wagon on the family farm of Darrin Ihnen near Hurley, S.D.

Jeff Broin says, “We are going to do something that has never been done before: produce cellulosic ethanol from corn cobs on a commercial scale. When our Emmetsburg, Iowa plant is operational in 2011, it will necessitate harvesting, storing and transporting 275,000 acres of corn cobs. The 4,000 acres we’re harvesting this fall represents the first step toward making that massive harvest achievable.”

corn, Ethanol, John Deere, News