Iowa Public Television


Nebraska Ag Experts Say Farmers May Want to Think Twice Before Selling Corn Residue

posted on October 30, 2009

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Farmers might be paying a price if they sell plant residue from harvested cornfields.

The leftover plant material — also called corn stover — is being bought by some energy companies. They turn it into pellets and sell it to coal-fired power plants.

Some companies will pay up to $20 a ton for long-term contracts. At an average of 3 tons per acre, a mere 100-acre field could yield a gross profit of $6,000.

But University of Nebraska-Lincoln farm experts say that residue is even more valuable to the farmer by adding nutrients and lending structure to the soil.

Experts say the nutrient value of corn residue ranges from $17 a ton to $46 a ton.

Without that residue, the farmer will have to add more fertilizer, raising input costs.

Tags: agriculture corn farmers Nebraska news