Ag Secretary Vilsack to Tour Iowa Facility

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By Rachel Begle

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Iowa to announce a new agreement with DuPont that the USDA says will promote renewable energy and conservation.

Vilsack will tour a DuPont crop sciences laboratory Friday before announcing an agreement with the company that the Agriculture Department says will "strengthen conservation practices, while promoting the sustainable production of renewable feedstocks for biobased energy."

DuPont is building a $200 million ethanol plant in Nevada. It's designed to break down cornstalks and other crop residue to produce ethanol.

The cellulosic ethanol plant is scheduled to begin production in 2014 and will be the nation's largest plant of its kind, making 30 million gallons annually.

DuPont is working with 500 farmers to collect more than 375,000 tons of corn waste annually to feed the plant.

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