Equilon Enterprises, part of global energy company Shell, has entered a joint venture with leading agricultural firm S&W Seed Company to develop novel plant genetics for oilseed cover crops as biofuel feedstocks, S&W announced.

Jointly owned by Shell and S&W, the Vision Bioenergy Oilseeds joint venture would develop Camelina sativa and other oilseed crops from which oil and meal could be extracted for processing into animal feed, biofuels and other bio-products, S&W said on 7 February.

As part of the agreement, S&W said it would contribute its expertise in seed research, technology, production and processing, including its seed processing and research facilities in Nampa, Idaho.

The joint venture was expected to begin production late this year, S&W said.

“This joint venture with Shell… leverages our seed and technology capabilities with camelina and demonstrates how agriculture and energy can work together to lower carbon emissions by producing domestically-sourced sustainable biofuel feedstocks,” S&W CEO Mark Wong said.

Headquartered in Longmont, Colorado, S&W is a leading producer of proprietary alfalfa, sorghum and sunflowerseeds. The company also develops and produces stevia, a sweetener for the food and beverage industry.