From the community

The Production of Biomass Fuels in the St. John Valley is subject of Presentation

Posted Feb. 10, 2014, at 1:35 p.m.

The Center for Rural Sustainable Development at the University of Maine at Fort Kent will present guest speaker, Kalvin Ernst, on the Production of Bio-Mass Fuel in the St. John Valley. Ernst’s presentation will be held on Wednesday, February 12, at 6 p.m. in the Nadeau Teleconference Room on the UMFK campus.

The presentation is focused toward farmers who are interested in participating in sample trials this year. The UMFK Center for Rural Sustainability has secured grant funding to cost-share with farmers on this initiative. The Center for Rural Sustainable Development extends an invitation to all farmers within the St. John Valley who would be interested in this opportunity.

Ernst’s research was conducted as part of the Sustainable Solutions Initiative, supported by the National Science Foundation award to the Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine.

Ernst is actively involved in numerous cooperative efforts with government agencies, universities, and groups in the private sector that are interested in increasing the use of biomass in various applications.

According to Ernest, certain lowland switchgrass species are best for biomass purposes because of their upright structure, which increases the amount of plant potential per square foot and makes harvesting easier. Ernst researchers are working to improve switchgrass characteristics in order to maximize the biomass output and quality through selective breeding and improved genetics.

Ernst Conservation Seeds and Ernst Biomass, Meadville, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest and most experienced switchgrass seed producers in the world. It has more than 20 years experience in establishing, managing, and harvesting switchgrass seed and biomass. It grows and harvests nearly 400 naturalized species of seeds, as well as providing crops and agricultural supplies for various applications including wildlife habitat, wetland mitigation and Conservation Reserve Program initiatives.

If you are unable to make the presentation and would like to find out more information please call (207) 834-7567.

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