With the arrival of winter in the southern hemisphere, growers in Argentina are starting to plant cover crops to protect against erosion and restore and improve soil in the window between primary crop harvest and planting. 2022 marks the fourth season many of those growers are seizing a relatively new contract opportunity. It’s to supply the rapidly growing global demand for certified sustainable low-carbon fuel feedstock by growing the non-food cover crop Nuseed Carinata between their primary crops for additional farm income.
Nuseed Argentina’s “Energy from the Field” campaign describes both the crop’s purpose and the enthusiasm of growers and industry partners. “This is a new opportunity, and contracting has been excellent,” says Sebastian Bravo, manager of the Nuseed Carinata program in Argentina. “It’s been very exciting to help growers improve their soil and their farm income, while providing a non-food oil to help replace fossil fuel and lower emissions. As well as sequester huge amounts of carbon from the air back into the soil where it belongs and is desperately needed to improve soil health.”
Lower emissions, reduced erosion, and carbon sequestration aren’t the only Nuseed Carinata benefits. Nutrient and moisture retention, reduced weed pressure, and biodiversity also help increase productivity of the following primary crop in the grower’s rotation. Growers are required to adopt and record the certified sustainable farming practices that maximize and quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) savings, both key to helping biofuels customers reach their net-zero targets.
“We’ve been able to demonstrate the fit between primary crops, soil benefits and the profitability as well as gain the support of an excellent retail network,” explains Bravo. “The combination has enabled us to successfully reach our contracting goals here in Argentina.” With 2022 contracting goals met and planting underway, Nuseed Carinata representatives will now be focused on supporting growers and the retail network through to a successful Nuseed Carinata harvest.
The 2022 contract production in Argentina will be the first Nuseed Carinata crop directly supplying the recent bp offtake and market development agreement.