A western Iowa corn producer hopes to make reality out of an idea to more than double the value of his harvest. Tom Schechinger of Harlan says the grain brings about 200-dollars a ton, but other valuable products can be made from corn stalks, stems and leaves that’re usually left behind in the fields. He says usually the stalks can bring in a higher value than the grain itself.Schechinger and several associates recently went to Ontario, Canada, where a small factory will soon begin making ethanol from “left-over” corn stalks. He says the stalks can also be processed into fiber, lubricants, paper and other products. He thinks an easy way could be developed for farmers to harvest the stalks and stems, sometimes referred to as stover.Schechinger would like to see the development of what he calls “whole-stalk” harvesting of corn fields where the whole plant is harvest at once and later separated at the plant.The Canadian company, Iogen Corporation, is planning to build a full-scale factory, perhaps in the U-S. Schechinger is hoping to convince company officials to locate in Shelby County.
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