The East is (Sorghum) Red: NexSteppe, Longping Hi-Tech partner for expansion in China

November 10, 2016 |

bd-ts-111116-nexsteppe-smIn Arizona, NexSteppe and Longping Hi-Tech partnered for distribution, marketing and sales of NexSteppe’s Palo Alto biomass sorghum hybrids in China and will continue to evaluate joint research activities aimed at the development of improved hybrids best suited for local climate and growing conditions in China.

The biobased industries are experiencing rapid growth driven by increasing energy demand, a desire for energy security, volatile fossil fuel prices, and concerns about the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use. In order to maintain this growth, these industries need scalable, reliable and sustainable feedstocks that won’t negatively impact the environment or the world’s food supply. This need is particularly clear as we see the first wave of commercial-scale, cellulosic biorefineries beginning operations in the U.S. NexSteppe’s products, optimized for these applications, will allow bioenergy and biobased products to become mainstream, largescale, sustainable solutions.

Soil remediation

A focal point of interest? Optimizing these hybrids for soil remediation and bioenergy production in service of enhanced environmental protection and sustainable agricultural development in China.

The background on that. As NexSteppe CEO Anna Rath told The Digest, “The Chinese government has measured 19% of China’s arable land to be polluted, with the most common inorganic pollutants being the heavy metals cadmium, arsenic and nickel.  NexSteppe products offer a unique solution to this environmental and human health challenge.  As they develop, Palo Alto biomass sorghums, with their robust root systems and fast growth, extract heavy metals from the soil while also providing a cost-effective, low-moisture biomass feedstock for biopower. These optimized sorghum hybrids offer the opportunity to continue using contaminated land while the soil is remediated back to safe levels for healthy food and feed supply in China.”

Why NexSteppe, and why biomass sorghum?

NexSteppe Palo Alto high biomass sorghum is a dedicated product line for the biopower industry with multiple hybrids adapted for different growing regions. NexSteppe Palo Alto offers effective soil remediation, with strong root systems and fast growth, while also providing a high-yielding, cost-effective, low-moisture biomass feedstock for biopower. These optimized sorghum hybrids offer a viable solution to continue using contaminated land while the soil is remediated back to safe levels for healthy food and feed supply in China.

More on Longping Hi-Tech

Longping Hi-Tech ranks first among Chinese seed companies, with a leading global market share of the hybrid rice market. The company is named after Yuan LongPing, a central pioneer and father figure in the establishment of the hybrid rice industry. Longping Hi-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company is focused on developing and bringing to market a portfolio of solutions for land remediation. This effort is supported by their collaboration with the Institute of Subtropical Ecology, a part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. With this collaboration, the partnership with NexSteppe and their own internal efforts, the company has developed strong industrial knowledge and capability in the field of soil remediation, especially for soils contaminated with heavy metals.

NexSteppe’s progress

NexSteppe’s Palo Alto hybrids are already commercialized in North and South America and Europe and have been tested in hundreds of trials across dozens of countries around the world over multiple years.

Storylines of interest

Aemetis begins harvesting Nexsteppe sorghum in Central California

NexSteppe takes biomass sorghum to commercial-scale in Brazil

NexSteppe Raises $22M in Series C Financing

The Digest’s 2016 Multi-Slide Guide to NexSteppe

Reaction from the stakeholders

NexSteppe CEO Anna Rath says, “We have tremendous respect for the legacy of Yuan LongPing and the accomplishments of the company bearing his name. In particular, we are very impressed with the leadership they are currently showing in developing solutions for contaminated agricultural land in China. We are excited to take this next step and partner to address this need as well as contribute to China’s aggressive goals to grow their biopower industry. We believe that NexSteppe sorghums will have a vital role as a sustainable technique for remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils and production of clean biopower energy in China. Longping is the right partner for us to pursue this promising agenda.”

Du Zhiyan, Assistant to Chairman of Longping Hi-Tech and the General Manager of Longping Hi-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company. added: “Longping Hi-Tech has always positioned itself to be open and pragmatic about international cooperation, especially when such action supports our company’s dedication to the development of safe and sustainable solutions for global food security challenges. Longping Hi-Tech believes that agricultural bio-remediation offers an immense opportunity to repair and restore contaminated arable land and sees NexSteppe as a significant partner towards that end. We look forward to deepening our ties with NexSteppe through increased technology sharing and joint development in the fields of soil remediation, clean energy and sustainable agriculture.

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