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Bayer Expands Its Current Investment to Acquire Majority Share in CoverCress

According to Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division, "CoverCress is exciting because it has the potential to become an important source for biofuel production as a new harvested rotational crop, while giving growers an innovative option to continue effective stewardship of their land and improve soil quality by acting as a cover crop."

Shivam Dwivedi
Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division
Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division

A shareholders' agreement has been executed by Bayer, Bunge, and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (Chevron), a division of Chevron Corporation, in conjunction with Bayer's acquisition of a 65 percent controlling stake in winter oilseed producer CoverCress, Inc. (CCI). Bunge and Chevron will continue to be the owners of the remaining 35% of CCI.

A rotational cash crop called CoverCressTM produces grain while also providing the environmental advantages of a cover crop without competing with other harvests. With Bunge's competency in oilseed processing and Chevron's expertise in fuel production, oil produced from CoverCressTM grain is intended to obtain a lower carbon intensity score and can be converted into renewable diesel.

By offering the world a desirable fuel product and high-protein meal for animal feed, this farm-to-fuel supply chain, which is represented by CCI, Bayer, Bunge, and Chevron, aims to give corn and soybean growers another revenue source.

According to Rodrigo Santos, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division, "CoverCress is exciting because it has the potential to become an important source for biofuel production as a new harvested rotational crop while giving growers an innovative option to continue effective stewardship of their land and improve soil quality by acting as a cover crop."

“We are dedicated to decarbonizing agriculture and assisting farmers all over the world in becoming more sustainable through game-changing goods and solutions that can affect climate change. We are a global leader in crop research. Another indication of the success of our work is this investment and cooperation between leading business figures.”

Combining the knowledge of Bayer, Bunge, and Chevron with the potential of CoverCressTM will enable CCI to advance the commercialization of its namesake winter oilseed and turn it into a rotational cash cover crop with potential benefits for sustainability and carbon sequestration. This will also enable CCI to provide the renewable diesel industry with a new lower carbon fuel feedstock. The unique crop CoverCressTM was created by CCI, which will continue to function independently, and whose grain serves as a low-input, low-carbon source for fuel and feed.

CCI will be in a better position to realise its full potential by utilising a supply chain that comprehends the production, growth, processing, and delivery requirements of its crop from the ground up thanks to the knowledge and support of industry leaders in fuels, soybean crushing, logistics, and crop sciences.

According to Greg Heckman, chief executive officer of Bunge, "connecting the complete value chain - from seed development to end consumer - is a key step to bringing this crop to market at scale." "We look forward to using this next generation, lower carbon feedstock to assist meet the growing demand for renewable fuels."

This cash crop, which can be harvested for use as a renewable fuel feedstock and has the advantages of a cover crop, will soon be available to growers in North America.

Chevron's senior vice president for Downstream & Chemicals, Mark Nelson, stated that the company was working with American farmers to develop innovative renewable fuel feedstocks. We are thrilled to collaborate with Bayer and Bunge to hasten the adoption of CoverCressTM, which we believe can eventually be used to assist in supplying reduced lifecycle carbon intensity fuels to the U.S. transportation sector.

Traditional cover crops are planted by farmers not for harvest but for soil protection and improvement. A new low-input rotational cash crop with the advantages of a cover crop, CoverCressTM was created by converting field pennycress using methods for breeding and gene editing. CoverCressTM has the ability to reduce nitrogen loss, aid in the storage of carbon in the soil, and enhance soil health when put to corn and soybean rotations on land over the winter.

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