The Van Trump Report

NEW Bunge-Chevron Plant Opens Oilseed Options for Midsouth Producers

Bunge and Chevron just broke ground on a new oilseed processing facility in Destrehan, Louisiana, which is expected to open new crop options for producers in the midsouth. The plant features a flexible design, intended to allow it to process soybeans as well as soft seeds, including novel winter oilseed crops such as canola and CoverCress.

The new plant is part of the companies’ joint venture “Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables” and is expected to be operational in 2026. Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables is focused on developing renewable fuel feedstocks leveraging Bunge’s expertise in oilseed processing and farmer relationships, and Chevron’s expertise in renewable fuels production and marketing. Under the joint venture agreement, Bunge operates the joint venture’s processing plants while Chevron has purchase rights for the oil to use as feedstock for renewable fuels.

Corteva is also a collaborator in the Bunge-Chevron renewables project. Its portion is focused on providing winter canola hybrids from Pioneer seeds and agronomic accessibility for canola producers. Canola is usually associated with more northern latitudes but from what I understand, it’s also a well-established cover crop in parts of the midsouth region.

Pioneer began providing support for new and returning canola producers in Kentucky and Tennessee last year with plans to expand into the Delta region over the next few years. The support comes from experts and farmers already in Pioneer’s longstanding canola breeding program. They’ve also already conducted “some pretty robust hybrid testing throughout the South and even out into Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, to look at the adaptability of some of these hybrids,” according to Jonathan Siebert, a Corteva area agronomy lead for the Corteva’s South Delta and Southwest regions.

Siebert says winter canola fills unique opportunities in the Delta region, especially for producers who currently grow soybeans. Both crops perform well under similar growing conditions and soil types and use similar equipment. The companies estimate the plant’s oilseed requirements could be as high as 1 million acres of canola.

Siebert also points to the robust breeding programs around Pioneer’s winter canola hybrids. The company is specifically focused on the crop for its ability to produce the most oil efficiently in a double cropping system. Siebert adds, “Per pound of winter canola, there’s a greater percentage of oil than any of these other crops.”  (Sources: Biofuels Digest, Successful Farming, World Grain)

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