Questions Relative to Harvesting & Storing Corn Stover

Dr. R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Department, Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Office ph. 765-494-4802

Prepared September 1995. Originally published as Agronomy Extension publication AGRY-95-09. Contact the author for hardcopy versions of this document.


This document addresses some questions regarding the harvesting and storage of corn stover for the purpose of delivery to a proposed corn-based pulp mill in northwest Indiana. Some of the responses to these questions are based on Purdue Extension writings from the 1970's when harvested corn stover was being evaluated as an alternative energy source for beef cattle. Additional thoughts on these issues are based on recent discussions between Bob Nielsen (Purdue Agronomy Dep.), Sam Parsons (Purdue Ag. & Biological Engineering Dep.), and Dave Petritz (Purdue CES AgNR). We don't pretend to presume to have addressed all the considerations that apply to this venture. We have also restricted our comments to the harvesting and storage of the stover, since we have no knowledge of the pulp-making process itself.

What is the farmer obligated for?

What are the risks involved with corn stover harvest?

How much stover is produced in a typical corn field?

What are the effects of stover removal on soil tilth?

What are the effects of stover removal on ground cover and HEL requirements?

What is the approximate value of stover nutrients removed from field?

What type and size of package (bales, stacks) is desired?

Is any pre-harvest operation, such as windrowing, necessary?

What type of custom harvesting and transport equipment will be required?

What is the optimum stover moisture content for harvest?

Where and how will stover be stored?

What is the cost of harvesting and transporting corn stover packages?

Return to The Corn Growers Guidebook , a WWW resource for corn management systems in Indiana and the eastern CornBelt.

The Chat 'n Chew Cafe.

Purdue University Agronomy Extension WWW Home Page.

Purdue Agronomy On-Line! , Purdue's Agronomy Department WWW Home Page.

End of Document