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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone

A New Winter Oilseed Cover Crop is Getting Closer to Commercialization

Farmers in the U.S. Midwest may soon have the ability to grow a new winter oilseed cover crop that will not only support regenerative agriculture, but will generate a cash margin.

Bunge Ventures, the capital venture arm of Bunge, has led an $8 million Series B-1 for CoverCress, an innovative company developing a new oilseed under the CoverCress brand name that is planted near corn harvest, and is harvested immediately before soybean planting, enabling three full season crops within two seasons’ time. Derived from field pennycress, the low-carbon intensity oil from the new oilseed represents a new scalable source of material for producing fuels such as renewable diesel, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuels. Being called the “cash cover crop”, CoverCress can also generate revenue as animal feed, either as a whole grain feed ingredient, or when processed, as a high-protein meal, while sequestering additional carbon, reducing soil erosion, and conserving water.

Combined with long-term funding from other investors such as Bayer, the capital secured through this round will give the company buy-in from the entire supply chain, and enough of a runway to deliver on its plans to begin commercial production by the fall of 2022.


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