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New plant will pioneer use of corn stover

Sac County facility will create up to 30 jobs

By Staff | Dec 22, 2020

The number of products that can be made from corn is staggering. It includes food, animal feed, ethanol, other chemicals, yeasts, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, colors and dyes, and even antibiotics. All of those items come from ears of corn. The corn stalks, stems and leaves — what farmers call stover –so far haven’t yielded as many useful items. That may be about to change.

CornBoard Manufacturing Inc., now based in Texas, has announced plans to build a facility in Sac County which would take corn stover directly from area farm fields and turn it into a sturdy product used to make pallets. Pallets, a fixture in all kinds of businesses across the country, are traditionally made of wood.

The company is promising an alternative product that would come from a renewable resource. Corn is harvested every year and after every harvest there are tons of stover to be had.

The current plan is to process 500,00 bales of stover a year at the Sac County plant.

That would yield some 5 million square feet of material to be used in pallets every year.

A unique arrangement would ensure that the finished pallets, or at least the raw materials that went into them, will be reused. Businesses won’t buy the pallets from the company. They will lease them. When the lease is up, the pallets will be returned to the company, where they will be broken down and used to make new pallets.

The plant that will make the pallets will employ up to 30 people.

We believe the proposed new plant, to be built next year, offers exciting opportunities. It will pioneer a new way to make a useful product from renewable materials. At the same time it will create up to 30 manufacturing jos in a rural area.

We welcome CornBoard Manufacturing Inc. to northwest Iowa.

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