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NC State Extension

Harvest of Experimental Oilseed Crops at Piedmont Biofuels Farm

August 1, 2005

Photos by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Harvest of Experimental Oilseed Crops at Piedmont Biofuels Farm 
Moncure, NC

John Bonitz harvests mustard

Co-op member John Bonitz demonstrates how to catch the seeds that shatter during harvest. He is harvesting mustard, one of the many oilseed crops that can be used to create biodiesel fuel.

Co-op members harvest mustard pods

Co-op members join forces to harvest seed pods from mustard that has dried in the field.

John shows some of the harvest of oilseed radish

John shows a sample of harvested oilseed radish.

Close-up of oilseed radish

Close-up of oilseed radish tuber and seed.

Co-op member Jasper checks out the drying oil seeds

Jasper checks out the drying seed pods.

This fuel tank at the Moncure farm dispenses 100% biofuel.

This is the fuel tank where members can fill up with 100% biodiesel.

Harvest of Experimental Oilseed Crops at Piedmont Biofuels Farm 
Moncure, NC

On a hot and muggy Sunday morning in late July, members of the Piedmont Biofuels cooperative met at the organization’s Moncure research farm to harvest experimental oilseed crops. The co-op is studying these crops – mustard, canola, oilseed radish, etc. – to determine which ones are the best candidates for use in making biodiesel. Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats and is completely renewable. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, and has significantly lower emissions than petroleum diesel.

Piedmont Biofuels conducts research, makes fuel, and educates consumers and organizations about the wonders of biodiesel. They are considered leaders in the Biofuels movement in North Carolina and have received considerable attention for their outreach efforts. The Piedmont Biofuels tanker truck recently traveled to Zebulon to fill up the tour buses of Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan! The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro as well as all Chatham County school buses now blend biodiesel from Piedmont Biofuels with their regular diesel. The co-op has 5 pumps throughout the Triangle where consumers can purchase fuel.

Check out the Piedmont Biofuels website to learn more about this great local organization.

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