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Extension’s 2013 Bioenergy Webinar Series

The University of Minnesota Extension will offer 7 web-based seminars, or “webinars” on bioenergy, in 2013.  While they do require access to an internet connection, webinars offer the convenience of learning at your home or office, avoiding the time and expense of traveling to a workshop. Continuing Education Credits are available for SAF Foresters, Stewardship Plan Preparers and others who would need them.

Everybody is welcome to attend.  A single $25 fee will provide you access to all 7 webinars or $10/single topic.  Click here to register.

2013 webinar schedule:

Wood Markets, and Past, Present and Future Processing Plants: An outlook of Woody Biomass Industry in Minnesota ( August 26, 2013)

Speaker: Steve Vongroven, Utilization and Marketing, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. At this presentation, Steve will set the stage for the rest of the bioenergy webinar series.  This topic will briefly cover the wood industry trends in Minnesota.  Solid wood to engineered wood to what we are seeing “around the corner”.

Benefits of Pellet Fuel Production (September 16, 2013)

Speaker:  Alan Doering, Sr. Associate Scientist, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, will talk about the benefits of pellet fuel production.  Heating with pellet fuel can provide convenience and consistent fuel performance. This webinar will focus on the benefits of pellet fuel, market opportunities, biomass fuel characteristics, pellet quality, along with process and equipment requirements. Economics associated with pellet and briquette production will also be discussed.

Midwest Residential Fuel Assessment: Implication for Thermal Market Development (September 30, 2013)

Speaker:  Fred Iutzi,   Manager Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs will present the results of the midwest residential fuel assessment study and its implication for thermal market develoment.  Displacement of heating fuel demand currently met from conventional sources — especially from costly fuels such as LP — is a promising market niche for biomass energy in the Midwest. Assessing biomass market potential at a regional or local level requires data on heating fuel use at an appropriate geographic scale, but fuel use statistics are usually only reported at the state level. This study estimates heating fuel use (in energy units) at the county level for ten Midwestern states, focusing on the residential sector, for which existing sources of energy and demographic data are the richest. The resulting database can be used to evaluate biomass heating fuel demand potential for a given region of interest under given market penetration assumptions.

Midwest Biomass Assessment Inventory (October 14, 2013)

Speaker: Dr. David Ripplinger, Assistant Professor and Bioenergy and Bioproducts Economist,  Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, North Dakota State University. The Midwest Biomass Inventory Assessment was developed to provide a snapshot of potential biomass resources for thermal heating applications.  Recent studies that estimate the physical, economic, and environmentally sustainable supplies of biomass in seven Midwestern States were surveyed.  Data from the Billion Ton Study Update (BTS2) was compiled and analyzed to provide of supplies.

Corn Stover Biomass Market and Availability (October 28, 2013)

Speaker: Dr. Joel Tallaksen, Biomass Specialist, University of Minnesota Morris.  Dr. Tallaksen will discuss a recent survey of corn producers in Minnesota that analyzed the percentage of farmers willing to participate in biomass harvesting. The study asked what factors were influencing their decision to collect biomass and which factors were most important. It also examined the demographics of those most interested in supplying biomass.

Agroforestry as an approach  to produce biomass for energy (November 11, 2013)

Dr. Diomy Zamora, Associate Extension Professor, University of Minnesota Extension, will talk about the role of agroforestry can play in producing biomass for energy. The demand of biomass for energy is increasing.  At this presentation, we will discuss how agroforestry systems and practices can be used to produce biomass for energy while achieving ecosystem services as an improved water quality, carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat. Agroforestry is the practice of intentionally integrating trees and forage/crops together for environmental and economic benefits. Agroforestry to be discussed will include alley cropping, windbreaks, and riparian buffers.

Applying silvicultural principles to manage your forest for bioenergy (December 9, 2013)

Dr. Tony D’Amato, Associate Professor of Silviculture, Department of Forest Resources. University of Minnesota, is going to discuss how silviculture principles can be applied to management of the forest for energy. Emerging markets for forest-derived biomass have created new opportunities for harvesting forest products from private lands. This webinar will discuss how these harvests can be applied to enhance forest growth, quality, and health using thinning treatments and integrated harvest systems that combine biomass harvests with traditional roundwood harvests. In addition, applications of biomass harvests to meet long-term habitat restoration and productivity goals will be described.

If you have questions or need additional information email