Ramble On

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Working Group Reports - and the Optimal Location of a Fibrowatt Plant

While we await additional information, there is a report up on WHSV this morning about the working group meeting held yesterday in Harrisonburg at the DEQ offices.  The article, linked below*, says the working group is still in the scoping stage of the study.  Seventy people attended, including several of our Page County folks, including J.D. Cave and Lee McWhorter, who are quoted in the article.

Meanwhile, here on Hawksbill Cabin, I have been looking for a map of the major concentrations of poulty farms around the state.  Here is some 2009 data I found about the industry in the Shenandoah Valley on http://www.vapoultry.com/:

  • Approximately 550 chicken farms
  • Approximately 280 turkey farms
  • Approximately $80,000,000 in grower pay
  • 6 poultry processing companies (Cargill, George’s Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods and Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative, Inc) employ more than 6,000 people.
  • Indirectly supports approximately 43,200 related jobs outside of the poultry industry, many within the Shenandoah Valley
  • 5 poultry company feed mills produce more than 1,500,000 tons of poultry feed annually
While I haven't yet found a map of the industry as it stands today, I did find some 2000 research from the University of Minnesota (surprisingly, there are a couple of papers at that school about the industry in the Shenandoah Valley...of course, Minnesota is one of the country's largest poultry producers, it is also the location of Fibrowatt's first US plant) about operating a feed-to-litter exchange as a way to improve the economics of hauling both of these poultry inputs**.  The data likely need some updating, however, there is a map of the optimal location for the exchange on page 29 of the report. 

It proposed Harrisonburg as the optimal location, based on haul distances ranging from 64 to 185 miles - from locations scattered around the state in all directions.  So there is a precedent for this location and there is a longer term context for the feasibility study. 

We'll keep you posted.

* http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/Study_To_Look_Into_Feasibility_of_Poultry_Litter_Power_Plant_118806854.html
** http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/14825/1/rr000048.pdf

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