Corn Heat

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When Brad Grote of Sioux County strikes up the fire at home, he isn't using firewood. Instead, he's relying on corn as an efficient energy source.

Grote has been selling multi-fuel stoves for two years now, and serves customers all over the Panhandle. While he burns corn as his primary source of heat, the stoves also can be used with wheat, barley, rye, sunflowers, cherry pits or other grains.

Though it's not as easy as throwing a handful of grain into the stove, Grote said the process isn't complicated. For corn, the grain needs to be about 15 percent moisture and fairly clean and it takes some air injection to get the fire going.

He says especially for homes that are not adequately insulated, corn is a viable and inexpensive alternative.