Greener Farms of the Future

March 30, 2021

The U of M’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) has a network of Research and Outreach Centers throughout Minnesota. One of them is the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris. Researchers there are involved in a number of projects with the ultimate goal of reducing fossil fuel consumption in production agriculture.

For instance, the GHGs carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are produced during the manufacture of nitrogen fertilizer, which is widely used in agriculture. But by using renewable energy sources, “we could replace 100 percent of the fertilizer made with fossil fuels,” says Mike Reese, WCROC director of renewable energy. WCROC’s Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Pilot Plant uses a portion of the wind energy generated from a nearby turbine to produce fertilizer. The University is also leading a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Proton OnSite, a Connecticut-based firm, to develop a small-scale ammonia synthesis system using water and air, powered by wind energy.

Read the entire article at Minnesota Alumni.