U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited his home state of Iowa Friday to sign an agreement concerning the future of ethanol.
The next generation of ethanol won’t come from corn, but rather from corn stover — the leaves and stalks of corn. The organic material is normally tilled into the soil to keep the land fertile. It also reduces erosion and protects water quality.
A new agreement between the USDA and DuPont will help determine how much of the biomass can be removed from the land without impact yields or damaging the environment.
“It means rural jobs, it means additional income for farmers. It means advanced national security for home grown energy. Safeguarding our natural resources and land productivity,” said Vilsack.
There’s a new cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada. It just opened in November.