Investment into agricultural bioeconomy
Published 5:30 pm Friday, August 12, 2022
The subsequent era of Virginia’s agricultural biodesigners are rising their very own home items and supply-chain elements.
Using mushroom mycelium as a binder, Matthew Reiss at Gnomestead Hollow Farm and Forage in Carroll County creates packing supplies, insulation bricks, acoustical tiles, planter pots and extra. His analysis and progressive manufacturing of sustainable supplies with renewable agricultural byproducts speaks to an ever-expanding funding into the U.S. bioeconomy.
Tapping into the expertise and assets of American agriculture to provide new, extra sustainable inputs and merchandise, a shift to an ag-based round financial system embraces extra renewable biomass merchandise and helps cut back waste.
The Ag Bioeconomy Coalition, based by American Farm Bureau Federation and different main trade associations, was launched to advance federal coverage initiatives that may foster progress within the agriculture bioeconomy. The coalition serves as an ag bioeconomy discussion board and platform for trade stakeholders, advancing federal coverage to foster progress in renewable, biobased supplies used to make fuels, manufacturing supplies and client items.
Reiss has developed supplies with a number of commodities and agricultural byproducts past mycelium, from hemp to soybean hulls, wheat straw and sawdust, in line with a information launch.
“Lignocellulose — woody plant material containing natural polymers — is one of the most abundant resources we’ve got on the planet, and it’s regenerative,” he mentioned. “Where the future comes in, we will be streamlining the production of biomaterials while integrating digital fabrication technology to create them, like a 3D printer that can directly print mycelium!”
To maintain the momentum, assets are wanted to boost scalability of those initiatives. And making the applied sciences and infrastructure accessible is essential, Reiss mentioned, “especially to farmers who will hopefully be working with these materials, since they’re the ones generating them through agriculture.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the usage of biobased merchandise reduces greenhouse fuel emissions by 12.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per yr. The home biobased merchandise trade provides over $470 billion of worth to the U.S. financial system and helps 4.6 million jobs.
“America’s farmers are leading the way when it comes to sustainable innovation, working to reduce our environmental impacts while feeding a growing population. But we can’t do it alone,” mentioned AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Partnerships are needed to help grow the ag bioeconomy, not just from agriculture but from a cross-section of industry, research, government and more. We look forward to exploring solutions that will help farmers do more with less as well as grow the rural economy.”