A new cover crop, Nuseed Carinata, set to launch this fall in the southern U.S., should pique the interest of farmers looking to boost their bottom line in between main food crops.

“This is a new exciting opportunity for growers to get that two-pronged benefit,” Nuseed North American marketing lead Roger Rotariu says. “With Carinata you get all those cover crop benefits as well as profitability through yield. It’s perfectly timed for farmers and the marketplace today.”

“Carinata is a harvested, non-food contract cover crop,” Nuseed Carinata communications director Colleen Shaw says. “It’s sustainably grown for certifiable low carbon fuel feedstock.”

Chill Factor

Nuseed Carinata is currently in its fourth season of commercial production in Argentina. The company is targeting Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and the Carolinas for its debut in the U.S.

“As a brassica crop, it will winter-kill, so it wouldn’t do so well in a state like Wisconsin,” Rotariu says.

Designed to be a winter cover crop, Nuseed Carinata is seeded in the fall. Harvest timing could be as early as February and as late as April, with “farmers being rewarded for adopting and recording sustainable farming practices and for harvesting the oilseed from the crop,” Rotariu says.

Fueling Sustainability

Nuseed and energy company bp reached a 10-year agreement this past February to accelerate market adoption of Carinata as a sustainable low-carbon biofuel feedstock. The agreement enables Nuseed to expand its network of growers and supply chain partners to deliver Carinata oil to bp or its affiliates. 

“Production contracts will be available to growers this summer for fall 2022 planting,” says Rotariu. “Interest from growers attending field days this spring was really strong, they are very interested in protecting and improving their soil and getting paid for what they grow and how they grow it.”

According to Rotariu, using Carinata for biofuel feedstock can help reduce emissions and fossil fuel reliance, remove atmospheric carbon and restore soil carbon, without displacing primary food crops or requiring additional farmland.

“Growers will have a secure production contract,” Rotariu says. “To maximize sustainable production and not displace main food crops, we’re contracting it as a cover cropping opportunity, grown over the winter months.”

In addition to being an extra source of income for farmers, Carinata helps improve soil carbon and organic matter, reduces weed and disease pressure, protects against soil erosion, and increases nutrient efficiency, according to Nuseed.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” Shaw says. “Carinata is a ready-now solution that is there to help growers and to help in the fight against climate change as well.”

For more information about the Nuseed Carinata contract production program, email nuseed.marketing@nuseed.com.