Corn instead of wood? $15 million CornBoard plant coming to Iowa
ODEBOLT, Iowa - CornBoard is an environmentally-friendly wood substitute made from corn stover, the plant debris left in the field after the corn is harvested. It's coming to Iowa next year.
CornBoard Manufacturing recently announced plans to build a $15 million 50,000 square foot plant in the Northwest part of the state. The main product will be CornBoard pallets, but it will also produce skateboards, surfboards, and outdoor furniture.
"Every day at least 8 million trees are deforested," says company founder and CEO Lane Segerstrom. "By utilizing the vast supply of corn stover that remains after corn harvest, we can save many millions of trees each year by reducing the need to harvest our forests for pressed board products."
This will be the company's first large-scale plant. Around 30 people will be hired to work at the facility.
The company will work with between 30 and 50 farmers to provide the necessary 50 million pounds of corn stover each year. It will pay farmers as much as $750,000, reports Aberdeen News.
The patented CornBoard product features a lighter weight than wood but has the same structural integrity, says the company. It has similar structural properties to oriented strand board (OSB).
In the manufacturing process, corn stover is sifted, sorted, and combined with a non-formaldehyde resin before being bonded under heat and pressure. 
Iowa was chosen for the location because it's the leading corn-producing state.
Construction for the plant is set to begin spring 2021. A timetable is yet to be announced.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user rdalheim
About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].