Company to build plant in Iowa to make pallets from corn

ODEBOLT, Iowa — A Texas company has announced it will build a $15 million plant in northwest Iowa that will make environmentally-friendly shipping pallets from corn plant waste, such as stalks, husks and leaves.

Corn Board Manufacturing, based in Stratford, Texas, says it will build the 50,000-square-foot plant on 40 acres west of Odebolt in Sac County.

The company makes a wood alternative, named CornBoard, from corn stover — the plant debris that’s typically left in the field after a crop is harvested. The company already uses CornBoard to make ski, snow and skateboard equipment under the Stalk It brand name, as well as indoor and outdoor furniture. Corn stover is sifted, sorted and combined with a resin, then bonded under heat and pressure into boards to make the products, according to the company’s website.

Company CEO Lane Segerstrom said construction on the Iowa plant will begin in the spring and will employ up to 30 people.

The plant will seek 30 to 50 farmers to provide about 50,000 bales — or 50 million pounds — of corn stover annually, Segerstrom said.

Corn Board expects to pay farmers as much as $750,000 for the corn residue, which the company will bale and transport, Segerstrom said.