Research by the West Central Research and Outreach Center provides agriculture many benefits, including a unique way to make nitrogen fertilizer. The University of Minnesota facility in Morris, Minnesota, serves as an agriculture experiment station, with one of many focus areas on renewable energy. Michael Reese is the director of renewable energy at the Center. He says a focus on wind energy started roughly 12 years ago, adding that renewable energy fits into the philosophy of farming.
The research seeks to reduce fossil energy consumption in production agriculture. Producing nitrogen fertilizer accounts for roughly 40 percent of the energy that goes into producing corn. Through their research, they found that using wind energy to help produce nitrogen fertilizer provides an option to reduce the energy intake.
Reese explains the process to make nitrogen fertilizer by utilizing wind energy.
He says the West Central Research and Outreach Center provides many other benefits to farmers.
re about wind energy at windexchange.energy.gov. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.