Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




An improved pulping process has been developed by the USDA which uses straw as the basic ingredient in the production of boxboard and corrugating paper. If a plant or plants using this pulping process could be built in the state, a use would have been found for a product produced by farmers that has very limited commercial value to them at present. The Northern Utilization Research Branch of the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been selected the Experiment Station of South Dakota State College to undertake a research contract to determine availability of surplus wheat, rye, and flax straw in South Dakota where the dominant industry is agriculture and a need has been felt for the “balancing of agriculture with industry” and especially in view of the recent industrial conference at Huron, April 13 and 14, 1955, which launched a program to encourage all industrial development in South Dakota. The purpose of this study is to determine whether any area or areas in the state have all the necessary requirements for the operation of a plant. From experience with the Peoria laboratory, it was found that the following information would be needed. More discussion of these aspects will be taken up in later chapters.

1. The harvested acreage of wheat, rye, and flax by counties.

2. The amount of surplus straw by counties.

3. The present off-farm use of surplus straw by counties.

4. The area or areas in which it is possible to collect 50,000 tons of straw per year in an area having a radius of approximately 50 miles as local conditions warrant. In this connection it is necessary to determine:

a. Crop practice prevalent in these areas that have a bearing on the utilization of the straw, including the yield and quality of the straw.

b. Areas affected by extensive rust, weeds, and similar contaminants, and their severity.

c. Amounts of actual surplus straw not needed on the farm or for soil fertility purposes.

d. History of wheat production showing how frequently crop failures or other factors affect the quality and availability of straw.

e. Estimates of maximum and minimum quantities of straw available for industrial use over a period of years, representing at least one normal cycle of maximum and minimum production.

f. Value of straw for purposes of soil fertility.

5. For any areas in which approximately 50,000 tons of straw can be collected and baled for industrial utilization, information must be obtained on the additional requirements for location of a hypothetical paper mill producing 70 tons a day of board (boxboard or insulating board) or 59 tons per day bleached paper or straw pulp. This requirement includes the following:

a. Water requirement of approximately 3,000,000 gallons per day.

b. Provisions for disposal of mill effluents: 300,000 gallons per day alkaline cooking liquors, highbiological oxygen demand (BBOD) and about 2,00,000 gallons of water containing spent bleach liquors and some filler.

i. Ponding.

ii. Sewage disposal facilities.

c. Electric power required; for example, 25,000 kilowatt hours per day.

d. Fuel for steam

i. Coal availability.

ii. Gas availability.

e. Labor requirement. (It is estimated that 660 farm labors are required 2 weeks for straw collection, etc. and 90 men full time for pulp and paper mill operation, or a total equivalent of 115 men full time.)

i. Availability of farm, mechanical and common labor in accordance with the above requirements.

ii. Wage rates for the above requirements.

f. Transportation facilities.

i. Hard roads, trucking rates and available farm trucks.

ii. Railroads.

g. Community conditions.

i. Other industries and skilled labor pool.

h. Costs of straw collection in the location.

i. Costs of mowing and baling.

ii. Costs of loading and trucking 25, 50, and 100 miles from the site.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Straw industries -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (page 40)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only