Several years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the Billion Ton biomass report and recently made an updated version available. The study shows that there is more than 1 billion tons of biomass available to be used for bio-products including biofuels. For many years, New Holland has been committed to growers who harvest biomass and when the biofuel industry was getting ready to make the move to cellulosic ethanol, New Holland was ready to go with their biomass baler equipment including the BigBaler. To learn more about the company’s technological evolution in the biomass space, I spoke with Jarrod Angstadt during the 2016 Farm Progress Show.
Angstadt said New Holland has been a leader in hay harvesting technology for many, many years. But 10 years ago they launched a Clean Energy Leader initiative and their equipment has evolved to meet the needs of growers as the market changes. “It’s really exciting because there are a lot of opportunities out there and where this is going to go exactly is still the unknown and it’s really, really exciting for us,” says Angstadt.
I asked Angstadt how the feedback has been from growers who are using the BigBaler to harvest corn stover and he says the feedback has been very positive. He adds, though, that baling a crop like corn stover is harder to bale than say a crop like alfalfa or hay. So New Holland “beefed up” the equipment specifically for hardier crops and the results have been great. The BigBaler is working well in the fields. And with some additional add-ons, the BigBaler can be used for crops like miscanthus and corn stover and still harvest forage crops.
Yet creating high-performance, long-lasting ag equipment is not only what New Holland is doing for the biofuels industry. They are the first and only company to come on board with Growth Energy to support American Ethanol. Angstadt adds, “We’re really proud of it. Going back to the clean energy leader strategy and our brand position and who we want to be, it made perfect sense. It made the growers understand we really care about them, our customer and we get that this affects them and ethanol is important to them so it’s important to us.”
Learn more about New Holland’s BigBaler by listening to my interview with Jarrod Angstadt: Interview with New Holland's Jarrod Angstadt on the BigBaler