CoverCress: The Carbon Cover Crop

Aug 5, 2022

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new crop to rotate.

OK, Bublé. Gimme the news: To enhance climate-smart agriculture, St. Louis startup CoverCress, Inc. developed an advanced field pennycress crop through breeding and gene editing tools, and Bayer wants in. Completely. Bayer is acquiring 65% of the company as the majority owner, while Bunge and Chevron will cover the remaining 35%. Farm-to-fuel supply chain represent.

Must be a cool crop: With its oil composition (30%), the CoverCress crop has potential to be an important source of biofuel. It’s also a smart rotational cover crop, offering farmers an additional cash crop between corn harvest and soybean planting. It boasts improved crop stand, yield, oil content, and quality.

Low carbon: With more interest in carbon, CoverCress offers low carbon intensity, helps sequester carbon, and mitigates soil erosion.

Soundbite: “As a global leader in crop science, we are committed to decarbonizing agriculture and helping farmers around the world become more sustainable through game-changing products and solutions that can impact climate change,” says Rodrigo Santos, president of Bayer’s Crop Science division. “This investment and collaboration between industry leaders is another proof point for our efforts.”

What’s next: The company has a goal to grow CoverCress on 10K acres this year. The first crop will be harvested in 2023 to be used as an ingredient in chicken feed. Bayer says CoverCress will operate as an independent company.