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Best of NAMA 2024


by Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal

Sometime in the next two or three weeks, Brandon Whitt says his winter canola crop will be ready to harvest.

In North Dakota, where the bulk of the popular oilseed is grown in the U.S., this would be nothing unusual. But Whitt is based in central Tennessee, a part of the mid-South where corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat and hay crops rule.

Winter canola might soon be added to the list, thanks to a joint venture between Bunge and Chevron (Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables) and Corteva Agriscience. Corteva (Pioneer) offers canola seed and is providing farmers with agronomic support.

The companies are working with about 20 farmers in Tennessee and Kentucky this year to give winter canola a leg up in the region. The crop could provide an additional revenue stream for growers there and help meet the increasing market needs for renewable fuel.

Western Kentucky and Tennessee are what Chad Berghoefer calls the "current epicenter" in the mid-South for winter canola production.

"From there, we could see it being grown about 150 to maybe 200 miles from that point - up into southern Illinois, down into northern Alabama, Mississippi, and over into Arkansas and Missouri as well. Those will be the number of states, as we grow out the project year over year," says Berghoefer, global product director of biofuels for Corteva Agriscience.

The three company partners estimate winter canola acreage could go from the 5,000 acres in production this year in Kentucky and Tennessee to millions of acres across their target region within the next decade.

Winter Canola Program For 2024/25

The three partnering companies - Corteva Agriscience, Bunge and Chevron - say there are five potential advantages for farmers who participate in their winter canola program:
1. Increased total farm profitability
2. The opportunity to participate in the growing renewables feedstock market
3. Improve soil through plant diversity and water filtration
4. Maximize productivity through a multi-year crop rotation
5. Access to federal crop insurance for qualified participants

Farmers who want to participate are able to contract acres of production at a fixed price based on the July 2025 Canola Futures, +/- local area basis. 'Act of God' clause is included and additional pricing alternatives are available, according to literature the companies have developed jointly.

Growers will deliver all canola production to a river loading facility and get paid by Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables. Grain delivered is subject to quality grading standards.

Pioneer has provided production guidelines for winter canola here.

To read the entire article click here.

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