Geneva, N.Y. — Researchers are hosting a workshop aimed at creating a low-maintenance cash crop for farmers while providing a source of renewable energy.
The workshop at Cornell University's Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva on Tuesday will cover cultivation, harvesting and economics of shrub willow.
Unlike corn or sugarcane, shrub willow doesn't need fertile soil that could be used to produce fruit, vegetable or livestock feed. So farmers can grow it on marginal land that would otherwise be unused.
Workshop participants will see willow harvesting in action and tour a new boiler that uses willow to heat two buildings at the Geneva campus.
The event is part of the two-day annual meeting of the Sustainable Wood Energy Multistate Research project.