These are backordered all over Minnesota. At current wholesale prices, corn (that’s kernels, not the whole plant) and natural gas cost about the same per unit of available energy as fuel. These stoves have automatic auger feeds and can be left alone for a long time, unlike wood stoves, and can burn pelletized fuel like wood as well.
For some reason, I was appalled to learn about this idea when I first heard it. I have no problem with growing trees as combustion fuel for well-designed equipment that doesn’t pollute the air, indeed I have put many cords of nice hardwood up chimneys. I have no problem growing corn as fuel for people, or as fuel for cows grown as fuel for people. I’m slightly uncomfortable, but only slightly, brewing corn into motor fuel, but it never bothered me that corn (and other grains) go into bourbon and beer.
On reflection, I can’t articulate a rational objection to dumping edible corn into a stove if the price is right, but it still seems vaguely immoral, sort of like Rodolfo and Marcello trying to decide whether to burn Rodolfo’s manuscript or Marcello’s painting to keep warm. Am I having an atavistic refugee-mentality attack?