Feedstox’s purchase of two combine-balers completed a fleet of state-of-the-art equipment that the non-profit company assembled for harvesting biomass from corn, wheat, switchgrass, miscanthus and other crops.
The fleet also includes five Agco pull-behind high-density balers; a self-propelled big square baler, large bale-hauling truck and two self-loading semi trailers from Kelderman Manufacturing; two bale-hauling trucks and a square-bale wrapper from Stinger, Inc.; and a New Holland Cornrower combine-head attachment that chops and windrows corn stover.
The equipment will be leased to farmers and custom operators, or Feedstox employees will operate it under contract with farmers. It was acquired with $4.8 million in economic stimulus funds appropriated by Congress and administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce.
“The goal is to reduce the cost of harvesting, storing and transporting biomass to users such as cattle feeders and biofuel or biochemical plants by 40%, thus saving time and fuel,” says Jeff Roskam, CEO of the Kansas Alliance for Biorefining and Bioenergy (KABB), Feedstox’s parent company.
“These machines are geared for volume, and we’re going to need the volume to add strength to the data,” he says. “So far our progress is in line with that objective.”
Based in Wichita, KABB is focused on identifying barriers and providing solutions to a wide range of bioenergy issues. Funded initially by the Kansas Bioscience Authority, it has several industry partners and is working with researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.