Extension and Ag Research News


NDSU and USDA-Agricultural Research Service to Collaborate on Biofuels

Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan and NDSU to collaborate on biomass production.

North Dakota State University and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have signed an agreement to collaborate on research to convert cropland to biomass production for energy use in North Dakota.

Under the agreement, the ARS’s Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan will provide funding for a research associate in the NDSU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department who will be based in Mandan. The research associate also will work closely with NDSU’s Bio Energy and Product Innovation Center (BioEPIC). The center serves as a single site within NDSU to develop, coordinate and promote the development of bio-related activities at NDSU and in North Dakota.

“We at the ARS-Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory are committed to developing environmentally and economically sound agroecosystems for the northern Great Plains,” says Jon Hanson, laboratory director. “This endeavor is too big for a single institution and for that reason our partnership with NDSU provides an outstanding means to enhance and maintain North Dakota agriculture.”

The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station also will be involved. The NDAES is conducting research at its centers throughout the state, in conjunction with the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, to develop dedicated energy crops.

“This project will strengthen and enhance ongoing research efforts on dedicated energy crop production,” says D.C. Coston, NDSU vice president for Agriculture and University Extension. “This agreement continues our effort to pull together the full set of capabilities within NDSU and position ourselves to be partners with others, such as the ARS’s Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, to develop and grow biobased production.”

The collaboration has two main objectives:

  • Determine appropriate crops to maximize biofuel production
  • Develop economically feasible management systems for transitioning in and out of bioenergy crop production

“We look forward to building upon this research partnership as we develop innovative and sustainable agricultural systems throughout the northern Great Plains,” Hanson says.

The process of hiring someone at the research laboratory in Mandan has started, with the hope that the research associate will start in the next few months.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Jon Hanson, (701) 667-3010, jon.hanson@ars.usda.gov
Source:D.C. Coston, (701) 231-7656, vpag@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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