KX Ag & Energy Update: Monday, March 29th

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From calving season to a multi-billion dollar ethanol carbon management project, here is your KX Ag & Energy Update for Monday March, 29

Here are some of the top agriculture and energy stories in North Dakota for the week of Monday, March 29th.

Iowa-based Summit Agricultural Group is leading a $2 billion dollar effort to capture carbon dioxide from Midwestern plants and pipe it to North Dakota where it would be buried deep underground.
The C02 will come mostly from ethanol plants but also coal-fired and fertilizer plants.

“The total number of actual plants is up to 40, but seventeen different companies. And, you know thousands of farmer ownership plants from across the Midwest. So I think we have a really great diversity of plant partners that will lower their carbon score,” explained Summit Agricultural Group CEO, Bruce Rastetter.

Summit Agricultural Group is collaborating with UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center on the project. EERC has conducted multidisciplinary research on carbon management for decades, putting North Dakota at the forefront of Carbon Capture and Management. With EERC’s help, Summit Agricultural Group is creating an entirely new 1,400-mile pipeline that will employ 10,000 thousand workers for a year.

“You capture the carbon dioxide off of a plant. If it’s an ethanol plant it’s mostly carbon dioxide just coming off the fermentation process. You dehydrate it or take the water vapor that’s out. And any other constituents. You separate those out and it’s a pure stream of carbon dioxide and then you pressurize the carbon dioxide and you put it in a pipeline,” explained EERC CEO, Charles Gorecki.

What does a mild winter mean for calving season in North Dakota? North Dakota Farm Bureau Member Joey Bailey ranches near Towner, ND and says the calving season started for them in ​January and the mild winter meant not as many sleepless nights. The warmer weather also means claves are growing well and momma cows are fatter since they use fewer calories in warmer weather. Ranchers are also seeing less sickness in the calves because of the mild temperatures, however, there are concerns about the extra dry conditions. For example dust pneumonia settling in. The Bailey’s live in the sandhills of North Dakota and with the dry conditions on windy days, there is a lot of dust in the air. Rain is much needed for ranchers for summer pastures.

Government Relations Director for North Dakota Farmers Union Matt Perdue tells KX News the Senate Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing on a $1.1 billion dollar infrastructure bonding bill on Wednesday, March 31st. Recent amendments approved by the Senate Finance and Tax Committee include $30 million for township roads and bridges. The legislature is expected to rely on the state’s share of the American Rescue Plan to meet county infrastructure needs. The Upper Great Plains Transportation institute projects a $9.3 billion need for investment in county and township infrastructure over the next 20 years.

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