SUTHERLAND, Neb. -- In as soon as two weeks, a facility in Sutherland will be making a product that could help farmers. The people behind the project say that their soil additive could help grow crops, protect the environment, and be more cost efficient for agriculture producers.
"It allows water to really quickly penetrate into the soil," Eric Lundgren, manager of Rescaype, LLC., said. "The end result is that we have optimized the conditions for plants to grow."
The facility processes polymers that can be added to soil to help with water conservation and curb fertilizer use.
The key to the whole facility is the mill, which can process one ton of polymers in the span of an hour. The mill processes polymers so gently that it keeps the molecular structure in tact, allowing optimal performance in the ground.
"For western Nebraska, if we can reduce the need for irrigation, and really protect against the environmental problems of the runoff, those are huge," Jim Jandrain, chairman of the board at Midwest Renewable Energy, said.
All this, while boosting crop yields, according to tests performed in Iowa last year.
"The tests have been with soybeans have been excellent [and] with corn [they have been] positive," Jandrain noted.
The project is a joint venture between Rescaype, LLC., and the Midwest Renewable Energy plant, who is excited to be a part of the opportunity.
"[It's] something to help the producers produce a better crop and be more environmentally friendly and require less irrigation," Jandrain reflected. "It just seemed like, really a no brainer [to get involved with the project]. What's unique is that it's not a fertilizer that you put in every year. It's something that you put in once and there should have some lasting impacts really on the improvement of the soil."
Jandrain notes that using the product for multiple years in a row could be especially beneficial.
The concept for the product is from the 1950s; but, the current method of creating the polymer is now simplified and more affordable for farmers today.
"This is a product that's been trying to reach the market for 70 years now and we feel by micronizing it, we can finally accomplish that," Lundgren said.
For more on Rescaype, click here.