Chromatin agrees to use S.D. sorghum in ethanol production
Chromatin, Inc., a leading provider of innovative crop breeding technology, sorghum seed products and feedstocks, said it has entered into an agreement with POET, LLC, one of the world’s largest ethanol producers, to use sorghum grown in South Dakota in the production of ethanol.
“POET is one of the most experienced and respected bio-refiners in the U.S., and our agreement with them is a significant step in our commitment to expand the use of grain sorghum in the production of energy-efficient biofuels,” Chromatin Chief Executive Officer Daphne Preuss said. “Ethanol producers are embracing the benefits of sorghum as a drop in replacement for corn.”
Chromatin said the agreement covers up to 4,400 acres of sorghum grain that will be grown in South Dakota. It will be used in POET’s Chancellor plant, which is located about 20 miles southwest of POET’s headquarters in Sioux Falls, S.D. Chancellor is POET’s largest plant and utilizes about 35 million bushels of corn to produce 110 million gallons of ethanol annually.
“At POET, we are constantly working to diversify our operations, not only in the products we offer but in the feedstocks we process,” said Rod Pierson, vice president of operations for POET Plant Management. “Sorghum is a fantastic grain for producing biofuel, and this arrangement will enable us to better manage costs and balance feedstock markets.”
Chromatin said South Dakota growers are attracted to sorghum as a grain source because it is easy to grow, has low fertilizer and water needs and is tolerant to both heat and drought conditions. South Dakota growers near the Platte River already familiar with the benefits of growing grain sorghum now have an alternative market for their grain. In addition, the residue from the harvest of sorghum grain can be used as high quality animal feed.
Ethanol plants like those owned by POET can realize the benefits of alternative crops to reduce feedstock costs, to improve their carbon footprint and to source feedstock from locally grown energy-efficient crops. Sorghum grown in South Dakota has proven to be cost effective and energy efficient.
“Our commitment to locally grown sorghum is strong,” Preuss said. “We are actively bringing this alternative feedstock to ethanol producers to take advantage of advanced biofuel pathways and make the market a reality.”