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Biotech seed producer Corteva AgriScience, global agribusiness giant Bunge and leading energy company Chevron have formed a partnership to introduce winter canola hybrids that produce plant-based oil with a lower carbon profile.

The aim was to increase the availability of vegetable oil feedstocks primarily for the domestic renewable fuels market, the companies said on 14 March.

Corteva’s winter canola hybrids can be used in a double crop system, following soyabeans or cotton.

The companies said they planned to introduce the winter canola crop into southern USA in a bid to create a new revenue opportunity for farmers with a sustainable crop rotation.

“We’re pleased to work with Bunge and Chevron to bring a new option in southern USA that will deliver solutions for farmers to increase productivity and sustainability…, as well as contribute to the need for renewable and less carbon-intensive fuel options,” Corteva AgriScience CEO Chuck Magro said.

Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables, a joint venture between Bunge and Chevron, said it was planning to use the oil from the harvested winter canola crop to produce renewable fuel.

In addition to providing farmers a new income opportunity, adding winter canola to a rotation provided a cover crop which could improve soil health by holding more nutrients, water and carbon in the soil, the company said.

A pilot programme was due to be conducted in the 2022/23 growing season to determine best management practices.

“Rotational cover crops play a key role in our strategy to continue to develop next generation lower carbon feedstocks,” Bunge CEO Greg Heckman said.