Nuseed’s omega-3 and carinata renewable fuel programs are creating impressive sustainable solutions to global problems, however, these aren’t the only ecological benefits of Nuseed’s crop portfolio. So, what are a few of these ‘built-in benefits’ helping the environment?
- Commercial sunflower hybrids have many of the characteristics of their wild relatives, such as drought tolerance and a deep root system that mines for nutrients.
- The majority of sunflowers are produced in a reduced-tillage system which prevents erosion, leaving the stalks standing and fields undisturbed over winter also provides an excellent food source for wildlife.
- Sunflowers make excellent habitats for bees.
- New technologies allow farmers to target pests that damage seedlings, while allowing beneficial insects to flourish.
- Direct seeding canola preserves soil organic matter content and moisture while reducing erosion.
- Canola also makes an excellent habitat for bees.
- Requiring one third less water with comparable energy and nutrition, sorghum is both a more sustainable and economical corn feed ration replacement.
- Among other drought-tolerant features, sorghum has a smaller leaf to root ratio than other crops, and extensive root system, as well as a heavy wax layer on leaves/stems.
- Sorghum is also a sustainable bioethanol crop because of its water-use efficiency and ability to adapt to semi-arid regions where soil salinity is too high for most food crops.
- It also has the potential to become a tool in land reclamation due to its hardiness and ability to improve the soil.
- The key sustainability benefits of carinata are two-fold: carbon sequestration and carbon reduction. Its abundant biomass takes carbon from the air and sinks it in the soil where it is critical to improving soil health.
- An extensive deep root system, low canopy temperature, and thick, waxy leaves increase carinata’s tolerance to heat and drought. Its taproot can reach 3 feet deep to reach unused nutrients.
- Carinata is an aggressive crop and will outcompete many winter weeds.
- Growing carinata as a winter cash crop on underutilized or fallow land improves the conservation of nitrogen and water, which reduces input costs and substantially increases ecosystem sustainability and soil health by retaining vital carbon.
- The combination of carinata being grown as a winter or cover crop between soybean rotations and the quality of its non-GMO high protein meal for animal feed makes it a biofuel feedstock that contributes to food production and doesn’t require additional farmland.
- Carinata as a winter or cover crop also helps reduce soil erosion and nutrient losses to water bodies through leaching.