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Chromatin and Calgren Renewable Fuels sign multi-year alliance for locally-grown sorghum for ethanol production

Chromatin, Inc. and Calgren Renewable Fuels, an ethanol producer located in Pixley, CA, announced an alliance to develop a local supply chain for sorghum for the production of fuel ethanol and distiller’s grains. The multi-year agreement covers up to 30,000 acres of sorghum grain to be grown and supplied to Calgren, which produces more than 55 million gallons of ethanol annually.

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. We like the prospect of giving local farmers and dairies better options.

—Lyle Schlyer, Calgren’s President

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 EPA recently identified conditions in which sorghum, as an energy efficient feedstock, can qualify for the financial incentives related to producing Advanced Biofuel.

Calgren operates the longest running fuel ethanol plant in California, continuously supplying ethanol, distiller’s grains, and corn oil to areas in and around Bakersfield and Fresno, CA since 2009.


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