Thursday, September 01, 2005
Environment - More on the ag-park concept
“An agricultural park is a place where Indiana’s corn, soybeans and livestock can be turned into ethanol, soybiodiesel, energy, food and fertilizer,” said Indiana Agriculture Director Andy Miller. “Grouping these agricultural businesses together makes sense in terms of land-use planning, economic development and job creation. There are also environmental benefits because each agribusiness helps the next by recycling what is ‘waste’ to one facility into a usable component for the next.”
An agricultural park is land that is pre-zoned and dedicated to agricultural businesses that can combine their inputs and outputs toward various value-added products – maximizing the benefit to all. For example, by-products of an ethanol plant can be used as feed for livestock in an adjacent concentrated livestock feeding facility. The livestock facility can pump manure directly back to the ethanol plant to power anaerobic digesters, creating electricity for the plant’s engines. By-products from the digester can fertilize nearby fields for crop production. Each piece is valuable because it is a component of the next process.