Bioenergy and Sustainable Agriculture

Perennial Biomass Crops for Multiple Benefits

 

Printable Version of Agenda (PDF, 155 kb)

 

Pre-conference field tours – Tuesday, November 18

A menu of pre-conference tours has been arranged to showcase a variety of Continuous Living Cover (CLC) types. There is no additional fee for conference registrants to attend these field tours. Participants will drive themselves or carpool from Decatur to the tour sites. AWI will help arrange carpools for participants traveling by air. Tour times shown are for the tours themselves and do not include driving time to the tour location. Maps and directions will be provided.

 

  • Decatur area tour – Demonstration plots and on-farm warm season grasses
    Hosts: AWI staff and cooperating producers
    CLC types: Biomass & Forage

    The AWI—Caterpillar Prairie for Bioenergy site includes farm scale (5 to 30 acre) plots of native warm season grasses and forbs grown for forage and bioenergy and single species demo plots (1/4 to 1 acre). AWI and the University of Illinois have small plots of bioenergy grasses on the grounds of Progress City, Illinois site of the Farm Progress Show (alternating with a site in Boone, Iowa). Also visit on-farm plots with prairie grasses grown as organic field borders and small-scale densification and heating equipment.

    This tour starts and ends at the conference site

    Tour: 10:00 to 11:30 am
    Participants on this tour will have time to drive to one of the afternoon tours: Goldmine Farm, U of I, or EIU.


  • Rund Farm – near Pesotum
    Host: Eric Rund
    CLC types: Biomass (Miscanthus)

    Learn how Miscanthus fits in to his operation, including the economics. A prairie grass buffer between a stream and the miscanthus provides wildlife habitat. Observe the results of inter-planting corn into a new or weak miscanthus stand.

    Driving time from Decatur: 1 hour
    Tour: 11:00 to 12:30
    Participants on this tour will have a box lunch at the Rund Farm and will have time to drive to either the U of I or EIU tour.


  • Goldmine Farm – near Pana
    Host: Jack Erisman
    CLC types: Forage/Grazing, Cover Crops, Perennial Grain

    Jack Erisman’s Goldmine Farm is over 2,000 acres and 100% certified organic. He has developed a long rotation that features high value specialty food grade corn, pastures for his cow/calf herd, and cover crops. He also has the first on-farm planting of Kernza intermediate wheatgrass in Illinois. Agronomist Lee DeHaan of The Land Institute, the developer of Kernza, will be on hand.

    Driving time from Decatur to farm: 40 minutes
    Goldmine Farm tour: Between 1:00 and 4:00 PM


  • University of Illinois – Energy Biosciences Institute Energy Farm & Woody Perennial Polyculture Site – Urbana
    Hosts: Tim Mies, Energy Farm; Kevin Wolz, WPP Research Site
    CLC types: Biomass and Agroforestry

    The 320-acre EBI Energy Farm features bioenergy-crop research and production plantings, including sustainable perennial grasses and broadleaved plants, woody feedstocks, and state-of-the-art environmental monitoring equipment. The structure of the Woody Perennial Polyculture system put in place at the research site is the Midwestern Oak Savanna. This structure entails an herbaceous understory, scattered canopy trees, and a variety of shrub layers scattered throughout.

    Driving time from Decatur to U of I: 50 minutes
    Tours: Energy farm, 1:00 to 3:00 – WPP Research Site, 3:00 to 4:00


  • Eastern Illinois University – Renewable Energy Center, Bioenergy Plots, and Lumpkin Farm – Charleston
    Host: Tom Canam, Eastern Illinois University
    CLC types: Biomass, including a biomass-fueled steam plant

    EIU replaced its old coal-fired steam plant with a Renewable Energy Center that houses four boilers. Two boilers burn biomass, initially wood chips but they may burn grass in the future; the others burn natural gas with a fuel oil backup. EIU professors have established grass and tree bioenergy plots on campus plus a 100-acre research / production plot on the Lumpkin Family Farm located a few miles from campus. EIU conducts wildlife studies on its plots and the Lumpkin and Rund farms. NOTE: The REC tour will be capped at 10 participants.

    Driving time from Decatur to EIU: 1 hour, 15 minutes
    Tour: REC, 1:00 to 2:30 – Plots, 2:30 to 4:00

 

Conference Agenda

(May be subject to change)

Day 1 – Wednesday, Nov 19

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Morning Plenary Session -- Registration/continental breakfast, 8:00 - 9:00 AM

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9:00 – 9:20 blank white space GLBW vision and strategies blank white space Richard Warner, Green Lands Blue Waters, University of Minnesota
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9:20 – 9:40 blank white space Kernza: Perennial grains are coming to farms and tables blank white space Lee DeHaan, The Land Institute
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9:40 – 10:10 blank white space Perennial biomass for a new agricultural paradigm blank white space Steve John, Agricultural Watershed Institute
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10:10 – 10:45 blank white space An Illinois farmer’s experience promoting energy grass in the Corn Belt blank white space Eric Rund, Rund Farms – Green Flame Energy
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10:45 – 11:00 blank white space Break blank white space
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11:00 – 11:30 blank white space DOE Perspective on Sustainable Bioenergy Landscapes blank white space Kristen Johnson, US Department of Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office
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11:30 – 11:45 blank white space Introduction to the Watersheds and Landscapes session blank white space George Boody, Land Stewardship Project
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11:45 – 12:00 blank white space Introduction to the Technologies and Markets session blank white space Fred Iutzi, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
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12:00 - 1:00 blank white space Networking Lunch - Exhibits Open blank white space

 

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Afternoon Concurrent Session A: Watersheds and Landscapes
Moderator: George Boody

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1:00 – 2:30 blank white space GLBW watershed case studies followed by small-group discussion
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  • Chad Ingels (Iowa State University Extension & Outreach: Watershed Management): Farmer-led watershed councils

  • Linda Meschke (President, Rural Advantage): Adoption strategies for multifunctional landscapes in south central Minnesota

  • George Boody (Executive Director, Land Stewardship Project): Chippewa 10% Project: engaging farmers and landowners about profitable Continuous Living Cover systems and community conservation
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2:30 – 3:00 blank white space Networking break – Exhibits open blank white space
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3:00 – 4:30 blank white space Multifunctional Perennial Cropping Systems Design Charette blank white space Charette leader: Sarah Taylor Lovell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Afternoon Concurrent Session B: Technologies and Markets
Moderator: Fred Iutzi

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1:00 – 1:30 blank white space Home—farm—school heating with grass biomass blank white space Bob Thomas, Hudson Valley Grass Energy
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1:30 – 2:00 blank white space Modular Biomass Pre-processing/Densification Facility blank white space Paul Wever, Chip Energy LLC
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2:00 – 2:30 blank white space Grass Biomass for Power and Co-Generation blank white space Benjamin Anderson, University of Iowa
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2:30 – 3:00 blank white space Networking break – Exhibits open blank white space
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3:00 – 3:30 blank white space Processing Methods to improve the Feed Value of Perennial Grasses blank white space Michael Cecava, Archer Daniels Midland Company
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3:30 – 4:00 blank white space Micro-refineries for Drop-in fuel and CoolTerraTM production blank white space Wes Bolsen, Cool Planet Energy Systems
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4:00 – 4:30 blank white space Anaerobic digestion of grass & manure blank white space Tom Elgin, Roeslein Alternative Energy

 

November 19 evening program – Sangamon Watershed Celebration

The Sangamon Watershed Celebration is an annual AWI event. GLBW Conference registrants will join local watershed stakeholders for an evening of great food and music and to learn about the resources entrusted to our care, close to home and far downstream.

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5:30 pm blank white space Reception, exhibits open blank white space
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6:30 blank white space Cajun-theme dinner blank white space
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Keynote presentation: Louisiana Shrimp and Corn Soup

blank white space Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director and Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
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8:00 blank white space Concert by Tee Chaoui Social Club blank white space featuring Alan Lafleur

Day 2 – Thursday, November 20

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7:30 – 8:30 am blank white space Continental breakfast blank white space
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8:30 – 8:45 blank white space Recap of Watersheds and Landscape Design session blank white space George Boody
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8:45 – 9:00 blank white space Recap of Technologies and Markets session blank white space Fred Iutzi
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9:00 – 9:30 blank white space Case Studies of Grass Biomass for Institutional Heating plus Wildlife blank white space Tom Schwartz, FDC Enterprises, and Tom Canam, Eastern Illinois University
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9:30 – 10:15 blank white space Native Warm Season Grasses for Forage and Bioenergy blank white space Laura Paine, Southwest Badger Resource Conservation & Development Council
and Roger Staff, NRCS
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10:15 – 10:30 blank white space Break blank white space
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10:30 – 11:00 blank white space Nutrient and Sediment Loss Reduction by Perennial & Cover Crops blank white space Greg McIsaac, Agricultural Watershed Institute
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11:00 – 11:30 blank white space Bioenergy Landscapes for Water Quality and Greenhouse Gas Reduction blank white space M. Cristina Negri, Argonne National Laboratory
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11:30 – 12:00 blank white space Wildlife and Conservation Biomass: The MCBA Vision blank white space Carol Williams, University of Wisconsin, and Susan Rupp, Enviroscapes Ecological Consulting
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12:00 – 1:00 blank white space Lunch – Presentation: Transforming Midwestern Agriculture with Continuous Living Cover blank white space Richard Cruse, Professor of Agronomy and Director of the Iowa Water Center, Iowa State University
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1:00 – 1:15 blank white space Closing Comments –
Conference Adjourns
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1:30 – 4:00 Post-conference roundtable discussion / strategic planning session

 

After the conference adjourns, the GLBW Perennial Biomass Working Group and the Midwest Conservation Biomass Alliance will host a structured discussion of challenges and opportunities for scaling up production of, and markets for, perennial biomass crops. This meeting is intended to provide input for a Perennial Biomass Initiative, including experimental watersheds in which perennial grasses are grown for co-production of harvested biomass and ecosystem services and energy conversion technologies are demonstrated. Conference attendees interested in participating in this effort are welcome to stay for this meeting. If you expect to participate, please contact AWI before the conference to ensure that seating and handouts are available.

 

Latest update: 10/24/14

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