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Published May 07, 2009, 03:45 PM

Turn your grass into renewable power

The Working Lands Initiative is a partnership between public agencies and private landowners to increase wildlife populations on working farms in Minnesota.

The Working Lands Initiative is a partnership between public agencies and private landowners to increase wildlife populations on working farms in Minnesota. The program is seeking landowners within Dakota, Scott, Rice, Carver or LeSueur Counties who have interest in participating in this new, one-of-a-kind renewable energy program.

The WLI involves establishing native grasses and harvesting the biomass, which will be burned at an energy facility to produce heat and electricity. Landowners will sign a contract and receive an up-front payment of $750/acre for a five-year contract, or $2,000/acre for a 10-year contract. Cost-sharing is available for the expenses associated with establishing the native grasses.

Harvested materials may be sold to bioenergy facilities for additional revenue. Eligible lands include existing farmland, land with native grasses not enrolled in a conservation program, or land with native grasses under a conservation program contract set to expire anytime in 2009. If you are interested in participating call David Rickert at 952-492-5457 or drickert@ co.scott.mn.us.

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