Chromatin and Calgren sign alliance for sorghum

By Chromatin Inc. | February 27, 2013

Chromatin Inc., a leading provider of innovative crop breeding technology, sorghum seed products and feedstocks, and Calgren Renewable Fuels, a leading ethanol producer located in Pixley, Calif., have announced an alliance to develop a local supply chain for sorghum for the production of fuel ethanol and distillers grains. The multi-year agreement covers up to 30,000 acres of sorghum grain to be grown and supplied to Calgren, which produces over 55 million gallons of ethanol annually.

“We are delighted to be working with Calgren Renewable Fuels—which has been continuously involved with ethanol production since 2009—in our commitment to expand the use of locally-grown sorghum crops in California for the production of energy-efficient biofuels,” Chromatin CEO Daphne Preuss said. “Growers located near the Calgren facility recognize the benefits of growing a water-efficient crop like sorghum, and we are pleased that our products provide an affordable alternative to corn that can be used in ethanol production.”

”In areas of the Central Valley with water constraints and higher alkalinity soil sorghum looks like an especially good choice. In addition, preliminary tests suggest the protein level of our distiller’s grains may improve a bit,” said Lyle Schlyer, Calgren’s president. “We like the prospect of giving local farmers and dairies better options.”

Chromatin is working with California growers who are attracted to sorghum’s water efficiency and tolerance to heat, as well as the cost benefits that come from reduced fertilizer use. In addition, the residue left over from the harvest of sorghum grain can be used as high quality animal feed, or as a feedstock for biogas or cellulosic biofuel production.

Ethanol plants in California have been seeking alternative crops to corn to reduce feedstock costs, to improve their carbon footprint and to source feedstock from locally grown energy-efficient crops. The U.S. EPA recently identified conditions in which sorghum, as an energy efficient feedstock, can qualify for the financial incentives related to producing advanced biofuel.