Benson Hill and Brownseed Genetics partner up to offer new corn hybrids

US biotech company Benson Hill Biosystems has entered a partnership with seed breeder Brownseed Genetics to offer new corn hybrids that are higher in both oil content and essential amino acids.

“The new Brownseed hybrids yield about 9% corn oil – nearly triple the normal production – and are rich in the amino acids lysine and methionine,” Benson Hill said on 30 July.

The hybrids had also been developed through conventional breeding methods and offered significant added value to growers, livestock, and ethanol and biodiesel producers, the company said.

They were enjoying a steady growth in the livestock industry, especially for swine and poultry because of their higher calorie and nutrient content, and the company was now targeting the corn-to-ethanol industry with its E+ hybrid, Brownseed CEO Charles Brown said.

The company was planning a major planting in 2020 after four encouraging trial runs of the E+ corn in research and commercial-scale ethanol plants.

Most ethanol plants required only limited modifications in their line process to accommodate the hybrid.

“Corn oil, used for cooking and biodiesel fuel, and distillers grains, used for animal feed, are both by-products of the corn-to-ethanol process. A hybrid that yields more oil and more nutritious distillers grains stands to offer significant financial benefit to the corn-to-ethanol industry with positive ramifications up and down the supply chain,” Benson Hill said.

Benson Hill said its crop design platform enabled researchers to quickly predict and select desirable traits, bypassing generations of experimentation to bring crop and ingredient improvements to market faster