Crop-based biofuels feasibility study for Washington County, New York

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2007: $9,442.59
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $11,100.00
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Christopher Callahan
Callahan Engineering, LLC

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: general oil crops


  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer
  • Energy: bioenergy and biofuels
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will be a technical, economic, and social feasibility study of a crop-based biofuels agricultural industry in Washington County, New York. Washington County farmers have felt increasing pressure to sell farmland for development (e.g. residential trends of neighboring Saratoga and Rensselaer counties); additionally, they have felt increasing cost pressures related to fueling their operations. Self-grown and processed biofuels, and more specifically biodiesel fuels, represent an opportunity to explore an alternative sustainable use of farmland while also reducing fuel expenses experienced by farmers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Consolidate existing knowledge related to oil seed crops demonstrated in this region and other similar regions (soil and nutrient requirements, yields, etc.)

    2. Explore available land and soil qualities for use in such an agri-industry

    3. Incorporate stakeholder interviews to understand potential interest for farmer cooperation, community concerns, market interest, etc.

    4. Summarize available biodiesel processing products, technologies and transport logistics including consolidation of results from related feasibility studies

    5. Explore the impact of scale on such an operation in this climate (single on-farm operation, co-op scale, regional scale, county scale, mixed-scale)

    6. Explore market feasibility (farmer use / cooperation scenarios, equipment warranty considerations, surplus markets, etc.)

    This project will be led by Callahan Engineering, LLC with support and collaboration from local farmers, the Washington County Farm Bureau, Cornell Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Washington County Soil & Water Conservation District, Washington County Dept. of Planning and Community Development, and Washington County Local Development Corporation.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.