Virtual field day to focus on how perennial biomass and prairie can be used for renewable gas

Iowa State University Extension
Farm Forum

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms is hosting a free virtual field day to discuss the utilization of perennial biomass and prairie for renewable natural gas generation using digesters on Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. CST. Join for a live discussion with Matt Helmers, Iowa Nutrient Research Center director, and Dan Ciolkosz, Pennsylvania State University agricultural and biological engineering associate research professor.

Helmers is also a professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension agricultural engineering specialist at Iowa State University.

The virtual field day is presented in partnership with C-CHANGE – the Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises – Penn State University, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG).

C-CHANGE is advancing research, education and extension to support development of a new bio-based value chain that is examining production of renewable natural gas through the anaerobic digestion of biomass combined with manure. The project is leveraging successful digestion of manure business models to encompass new agricultural feedstocks, more diverse products and increased value throughout the supply chain. This virtual field day will provide an introduction for growing perennial vegetation and prairie and how anaerobic digesters produce renewable natural gas.

“Perennials and prairie hold great potential to substantially reduce nitrate-N leaching,” noted Helmers on the additional benefits from increasing perennial vegetation and prairie on the landscape while providing fuel for renewable natural gas production.

“Join us to learn some of the basics of how a farm digester works,” said Ciolkosz. “This field day will help you envision what a biogas digester might look like on your farm.”

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1 p.m. CST on Feb. 4, visit or visit and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day.”

Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing: +1-312-626-6799 or +1 646-876-9923. Meeting ID is: 914-1198-4892.

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time.

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.