Grantee: UVM Extension, Oilseed Crops
Grantee: Heather Darby, UVM Extension
Location: Alburgh, Vermont; Grand Isle County
Project Description: Since the inception of the Vermont Biofuels (Bioenergy) Initiative,the Center for Sustainable Agriculture and UVM Extension have been critical partner. Led by Dr. Heather Darby and her team, UVM Extension has conducted research on cultivation of oilseed crops in Northern climates, provided technical assistance to VBI farmers, and gathered data on crop and pest management to improve yields.
Starting in 2006, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund began working closely with University of Vermont Extension agronomist Dr. Heather Darby and a number of farmers who were starting to grow oilseed crops in Vermont. Based on market and cropland research conducted in 2007, the goal was to work with farmers and others to help develop a sufficient number of acres and strategically located facilities to grow and process enough oilseed crops to replace 20 percent (or ~ 1.2 million gallons) of the 6 million gallons of imported diesel and over 15,000 tons of livestock meal consumed each year on Vermont farms with homegrown biodiesel and feed, at market prices or better.
Oilseed Production & Processing Research Grant Awards
- 2005-2007: $98,089 for a feedstock production, logistics, and biomass conversion research project.
- 2008-2010: $67,000 to develop oilseed production recommendations through research with the goal of expanding biofuel production in Vermont.
- 2011-2013: $65,000 to demonstrate oilseed production techniques that enhance farmer knowledge with the goal of expanding biofuel production in Vermont, including overall crop and pest management practices to improve yields, quality and economic viability of oilseed crops.