NexSteppe and Longping Partner to develop biomass sorghum hybrids for bioenergy

NexSteppe, a US feedstock provider for the bio-based industries, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Longping High-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company, a subsidiary of the leading Chinese seed company, Longping High-Tech.

Under this agreement, Longping will provide distribution, marketing and sales for 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 two companies will also collaborate to continue to optimize these hybrids for soil remediation and bioenergy production in service of enhanced environmental protection and sustainable agricultural development in China.

‘Internal efforts’

Longping High-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. NexSteppe said.Longping High-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 CEO Anna Rath said: “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.”

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 optimised 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.

NexSteppe’s Palo Alto hybrids are already commercialised 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.

‘Open and pragmatic’

“Longping High-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,” said Du Zhiyan, assistant to chairman of Longping High-Tech and the general manager of Longping High-Tech Arable Land Remediation Technology Company.

He added: “Drawing from a long tradition of agricultural research and exchange between China and the US, this cooperation between Longping High-Tech and NexSteppe to develop and market biomass sorghum is only the first step in our partnership. In the future, we will have an even closer cooperation on energy crop development, including establishing a potential joint entity of research and innovation in China.

“Longping High-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. Longping High-Tech is very happy to join hands with NexSteppe to further our mutual interest in China-U.S. agricultural technology partnership and for the betterment of human-kind through environmental preservation and improved food security.”


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