USDA, DuPont collaborate on conservation plan in ethanol production

29 March 2013 19:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and DuPont have signed an agreement aimed to set voluntary standards for the sustainable harvesting of bio-based feedstocks used in cellulosic ethanol production, the federal agency said on Friday.

According to the memorandum of understanding, the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) will provide conservation planning assistance for farmers who supply refineries with bio-based feedstock, particularly corn-crop residue.

DuPont will develop a process that involves sustainable harvest practices, such as more efficient use of nutrients and promotion of healthier soil and erosion prevention.

“USDA and DuPont share a common interest in the wise use and management of soil, water and energy resources,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Both organizations also share an interest in helping individual farmers adapt to new market opportunities in ways that are consistent with the wise use of these natural resources.”

The agreement will also support rural job creation, additional income for farmers, bio-based energy development and the safeguarding of natural resources and land productivity.

“Working with farmers is critical to maximising the land's productivity and protecting natural resources,” said Jim Borel, executive vice president of DuPont. “With this new collaboration, we have a partner in the Natural Resources Conservation Service to ensure that the collection of corn stover for the production of cellulosic renewable fuel makes sense for an individual grower's operation and the land they farm.”

The first plant involved in the agreement will be DuPont’s 30m gal/year cellulose ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa, which broke ground in November.

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By: Tracy Dang
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