biomass http://kbia.org en Growing biomass for biofuel, money for retirement http://kbia.org/post/growing-biomass-biofuel-money-retirement <p>Remember in the film <em><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063350/">Night of the Living Dead</a></em> when the protagonist, Barbra, is running through the grassy hills to the forlorn farmhouse to escape her lumbering zombie of a brother?</p><p>Well, while recently <a href="http://www.kbia.org/post/marginal-land-these-grasses-may-be-greener">reporting</a> for Harvest Public Media, I spent time on farmland that looked eerily similar to the backdrop of George Romero's black and white magnum opus.</p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:18:13 +0000 Kristofor Husted 22610 at http://kbia.org Growing biomass for biofuel, money for retirement On marginal land, these grasses may be greener (VIDEO) http://kbia.org/post/marginal-land-these-grasses-may-be-greener-video <div class="article-body"><p>In the parched, rolling hills of western Missouri, you might expect to see a desolate scene after this summer’s drought. But in this field, hip-high native grass sways across the landscape like seaweed in the ocean.</p><p>Wayne Vassar is growing these native plants for biofuel.</p><p>“They’ve had corn or soy on (this land) in the past,” he said, “and what’s happened was when you have these kinds of slope it erodes pretty rapidly and you lose a lot of your fertility as the top soil goes down the hill.”</p><p>Farmland experts call this kind of land “marginal land.” The hills make it difficult for the soil to hold onto the topsoil nutrients. And along the rivers and other flood plains, frequent flooding can deprive plants the oxygen they need to survive. It all adds up to an estimated 116 million acres in the central U.S.</p><p>Land like this might only produce a profitable harvest with traditional crops, like corn or soybeans, once or twice every five years. That’s quite a financial risk for farmers. So how can farmers avoid that risk factor and make sure such soils provide a consistent economic return? Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:03:49 +0000 Kristofor Husted 22602 at http://kbia.org On marginal land, these grasses may be greener (VIDEO) Conference brings renewable energy experts to Columbia http://kbia.org/post/conference-brings-renewable-energy-experts-columbia <p>Renewable energy was the topic of a conference on the MU campus today. About 180 people from around the Midwest gathered to hear from experts on the future of wind, biomass and solar energy in the region.</p><p> Mon, 26 Mar 2012 22:48:10 +0000 Harum Helmy 11272 at http://kbia.org Conference brings renewable energy experts to Columbia Business Beat: Liberal arts degrees turning into ag jobs http://kbia.org/post/business-beat-liberal-arts-degrees-turning-ag-jobs <p>This week: KBIA spoke with a director of the center of Agro Forestry at the University of Missouri on why the state isn&#39;t using biomass as a renewable energy source. Plus, one company is hiring people with degrees you wouldn&#39;t expect.</p><p> Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:06:52 +0000 Nick Adams 7689 at http://kbia.org Business Beat: Liberal arts degrees turning into ag jobs