A project launched by the CCE of Dutchess County promotes the growing and harvesting grasses for biomass energy. Funded by the NYS Agriculture and Markets and the Director's Collaboration Grant Program, the organization planted warm season grass in Spring 2006 with the help of local farmers. The grass was harvested after two years of good growing conditions, baled, and sent to Excelsior Alternative Fuels (see listing for Excelsior Alternative Fuels), which made only a few fuel bricks out of the material. The bricks can be burned in wood stoves or biomass boilers to heat homes or small commercial buildings.
Les Hulcoop, Resource Educator of CCE Dutchess (p: 845-677-8223 x130, e: email@example.com) works on the production of warm season grasses, the economics of growing them for biomass, and the development of such markets. He also had demonstration plots on the grounds of CCE Delaware that grew a variety of grasses potentially useful as biomass crops.
As a result of the project, more farmers have shown interest in growing biomass, and they have a greater understanding of how to produce warm season grasses. Awareness of using grass as a combustion fuel, as well as general awareness of alternative energy sources has also increased.
Last updated May 23, 2015