Canola for biofuel set for release in southern US

Grain Central, March 15, 2023

Canola looks set to expand south in the US as a potential winter crop grown for biofuel. Photo: Corteva

CORTEVA, Bunge and Chevron USA have announced a commercial collaboration to introduce proprietary winter canola hybrids that produce plant-based oil with a lower-carbon profile.

The goal is to increase the availability of vegetable oil feedstocks, primarily for the growing domestic renewable fuels market, in double cropping following soybeans or cotton in the southern US.

Bunge is one of the world’s biggest oilseed crushers, while Chevron is an energy company, and Corteva is primarily a seed and agricultural chemical company.

“Rotational cover crops play a key role in our strategy to continue to develop next-generation lower-carbon feedstocks,” Bunge chief executive officer Greg Heckman said.

“As a leader in oilseed processing, we are pleased to work together with Corteva and Chevron to bring this crop innovation to farmers and process it into sustainable solutions for consumers.

“This is another step in our commitment to creating clear paths to support the decarbonisation of the industry.”

Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables is a joint venture between Bunge and Chevron, and plans to contract with farmers to purchase the harvested winter canola crop and use the oil to produce renewable fuel.

As well as providing growers with a new income opportunity, adding winter canola to a rotation provides a cover crop which has potential to enhance soil health by holding more nutrients, water, and carbon in the soil.

A pilot program is expected to be conducted in the 2022-23 growing season to fine-tune best-management practices.

“We’re pleased to work with Bunge and Chevron to bring a new option in the southern US that will deliver solutions for farmers to increase productivity and sustainability on their acres, as well as contribute to the need for renewable and less carbon-intensive fuel options,” Corteva Agriscience CEO Chuck Magro said.

The companies plan to continue to explore opportunities to sustainably improve farming options and produce lower-carbon renewable fuels.

“Chevron is committed to advancing a lower-carbon energy future, and we recognize renewable fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel are a solution to do that,” Chevron Renewable Energy Group president Kevin Lucke said.

“Feedstock innovation is a critical element of the growth of the renewable fuels industry, and innovative solutions like double-crop winter canola not only benefit the lower-carbon future, but also benefit farmers, consumers and the environment.”

Corteva is the global parent of Pioneer Seeds, and the Yates family’s GenTech Seeds manages the Pioneer brand in Australia.

Source: Bunge, Chevron, Corteva


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