Bayer, Bunge (NYSE: BG) and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (Chevron), a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX), have signed a shareholders’ agreement in connection with Bayer’s acquisition of a 65 percent majority ownership of the winter oilseed producer CoverCress, Inc. (CCI).
The remaining 35 percent of CCI will continue ownership under Bunge and Chevron.
CoverCress is a rotational cash crop which combines grain production with the environmental benefits of a cover crop without displacing other harvests. Oil extracted from CoverCress grain is designed to achieve a lower carbon intensity score and can be made into renewable diesel with Bunge’s expertise in oilseed processing and Chevron’s proficiency in fuels manufacturing. This farm-to-fuel supply chain represented by CCI, Bayer, Bunge and Chevron aims to give corn and soybean growers another revenue outlet by providing the world with a desirable fuel product and high-protein meal for animal feed.
CCI will further develop and commercialize its namesake winter oilseed into a rotational cash cover crop with potential sustainability and carbon sequestration benefits and bring a new lower carbon fuel feedstock to the renewable diesel industry. CCI which will continue to operate as an independent entity. The company has developed CoverCress as a grain crop with less carbon and lower input requirements.
By leveraging expertise and backing from leaders in fuels, soybean crushing, logistics, and crop sciences, CCI will be positioned to deliver on its full potential via a supply chain that understands its crop’s production, growth, processing, and delivery needs from the ground up.
Growers in North America will soon gain access to this cash crop that provides the benefits of a cover crop as well as being harvestable for use as a renewable fuel feedstock.
Farmers plant traditional cover crops to protect and improve their soil, not to harvest. Developed by converting field pennycress through breeding and gene editing tools, CoverCress is a new low-input rotational cash crop that has the ecosystem benefits of a cover crop. When added into corn and soybean rotations on land during the winter, CoverCress has the potential to decrease nitrogen loss, help store carbon in the soil and improve soil health.
CCI has been a portfolio company of Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment arm of Bayer for the past seven years.