Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

An Application Of Geographic Information Systems To Alfalfa Bio-Mass Energy And Marketing Coops

Contents:

Author Info

  • Fruin, Jerry E.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers Cooperative (MNVAP), a farmer-owned cooperative based in west central Minnesota, has contracted to provide 75 megawatts of electric power produced from alfalfa stem biomass. The cooperative is considering a novel enterprise--the production of both electrical power and alfalfa leaf meal products from alfalfa hay. Seven hundred thousand tons of alfalfa hay from 200,000 acres grown by more than 1,000 farmers over twelve counties will need to be transported and separated into leaves and stems before power generation can occur. The alfalfa leaves would be used in various animal feeds ranging from 17% to 30% crude protein. Electrical power generated from this project will be more environmentally friendly than coal-based power due to lower sulfur emissions, sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere by subsequent alfalfa crops, and the production of ash that can probably be land applied as fertilizer rather than landfilled. The cutting characteristics and hay quality will result in two or more "lots" at each location. The utilization of each "lot" will depend upon its characteristics and will guide its movement to one of several separator locations. A Geographic Information System (GIS) locational database will be used to develop and implement the concept of a "virtual warehouse" in the biomass shed. There will be a road network overlay containing speeds, weight and bridge limits and other constraints for routing management. Each lot record with its location will contain quality data such as the following: alfalfa type (biomass or conventional), cutting number, quantity produced and yield, bale type, crude protein content, leaf content, hay relative feed value, leaf relative feed value, incidence and amount of rain after cutting, color characteristics, and type of storage. At full operation there will be 4 to 6 processing plants strategically located throughout the biomass shed. These plants will separate the alfalfa leaves from stems, produce value-added alfalfa leaf products and process and tranship the stems to the power plant. The virtual warehouse concept coupled with product blending plant scheduling and transportation models will allow the assignment of each lot to the appropriate processing plant and finished product to maximize the finished product value while controlling transportation, handling and related costs and reducing energy use in transportation and processing. An example of the use of the GIS database to measure and evaluate truck traffic impacts on the road network near alternative power plant sites is provided.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/14476
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy in its series Conference Papers with number 14476.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:umcicp:14476

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 332 Classroom Office Bldg, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108-6040
    Phone: (612) 625-8713
    Fax: (612) 625-6245
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.cifap.umn.edu/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Agribusiness; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:umcicp:14476. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.