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Illinois pushing energy from livestock manure
By BONA BRADBURY
Illinois Correspondent

STERLING, Ill. — As concerns about waste disposal mount, Illinois livestock producers, among others, were offered a chance to attend a one-day workshop concerning methane production and power generation from livestock manure.

Workshop topics included: Manure management principles, anaerobic digester basics, combined heat and power (CHP) technologies, working with local electric companies, Illinois case studies, carbon credits and training program for Illinois agriculture and the future of methane production in Illinois.

Speakers from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), USDA-Rural Develop-ment, the University of Illinois, RCM Digesters, Unison Solutions, Ameren, ComEd, Corn Belt Energy Corp. and USDA-NRCS contributed to the program.

IDOA Director Chuck Hartke served as the luncheon speaker. He highlighted the importance of emerging technologies in the agricultural industry as well as Illinois’ place in the national market. Special attention was given to CHP and the Illinois Conservation and Climate Initiative (ICCI).

CHP is an integrated system intended to generate at least a portion of the electricity requirements of a building from the thermal energy exhausted from electrical generation.

This system not only can provide reduced energy costs, but it can also provide improved power reliability, improved power quality, increased energy efficiency and improved environmental quality. The Midwest CHP Center is located at the University of Illinois at Chicago and covers a 12-state region.

The Midwest Region includes Illinois and Indiana.

The ICCI is a joint project between Illinois and the Delta Institute. The program allows agricultural producers and landowners to profit from the sale of greenhouse gas emission credits when they use conservation practices.

Example practices include: No-till, grass plantings, reforestation or manure digesters.

These practices prevent carbon dioxide and methane from entering the atmosphere. Application for this program includes the following documents: a signed contract; summary of acreage: FSA maps, crop certification summary and enrollment forms; CRP/CREP enrollment forms; methane digester worksheet (if applicable); and forestry plan (if applicable).

For additional information concerning this program, contact the Delta Institute at 312-554-0900, ext. 25.

The Waste-to-Energy Workshop for the Illinois Livestock Industry was in Bloomington and Sterling on Aug. 30-31, respectively.

Workshop sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy, DCEO, IDOA, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Milk Producers Assoc., Illinois Pork Producers Assoc., Midwest CHP Application Center, University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Beef Assoc.

This farm news was published in the Sept. 13, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

9/13/2006