What started as a bio-energy advisory board has grown into a collaboration between Iowa State University and a south-central Iowa manufacturing company.

Earlier in May, high-yielding perennial grasses grown for energy were planted on two demonstration plots at Vermeer Corporation’s global headquarters in Pella. The two demonstration plots—about 12 acres total—will be the site for field days to help people learn the best practices for growing and harvesting perennial grasses. For Vermeer, it will be the opportunity to test their equipment on this new crop.

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Jay Van Roekel, biomass business unit manager at Vermeer, was part of the original advisory board for the CenUSA Bioenergy, a multi-state USDA-sponsored research project with ...