Product Review

High Marks for Straw-based Particleboard

EBN had an opportunity to try out the new straw-based particleboard made by PrimeBoard, Inc. in Wahpeton, North Dakota. We hired a local cabinetry firm to shop-fabricate and install a wall of modular shelving from several 5’ x 10’ (1.5 x 3 m) sheets of 3⁄4”-thick (19 mm) WheatBoard™. We wanted to find out from professional cabinetmakers how this material compared with standard particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and Medite Corporation’s formaldehyde-free MDF, all of which this firm regularly uses.

First some background: Ed Shorma built the $15 million PrimeBoard factory because he was worried about guaranteeing enough raw material for his very successful manufacturing company Prime-Wood, Inc., which produces kitchen cabinets and architectural millwork. PrimeWood had been put on allocation (quota) in the past for particleboard and MDF due to limited supply, and Shorma didn’t want that to happen again. Instead of being dependent on wood products shipped from the Pacific Northwest, he looked in his own backyard in North Dakota and the extensive resource base in wheat straw.

Published March 1, 1997

(1997, March 1). High Marks for Straw-based Particleboard. Retrieved from