Canola Crop Surges in Response to Green Fuel Demand

Chevron announces a major initiative to grow and harvest canola.

March 15, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—"The race for ingredients to make green diesel and sustainable jet fuel is bringing Canada’s namesake crop into the American Deep South,” Bloomberg reports.

Canola is a type of rapeseed that was developed in Canada in the 1960s. Hence the name—"Canada” + “oil.” About 21 million acres of canola are planted in Canada every year, making it Canada’s second most planted crop, behind only wheat.

Chevron Corp., grains handler Bunge Ltd., and seed company Corteva Inc. are teaming to plant as many as 10 million acres of canola in the southern United States, Chevron announced. Currently about 2 million acres are planted with the crop in the U.S.

“Petroleum companies like Chevron, lured by subsidies to make cleaner burning products, are increasingly turning to biofuels. That’s led to a wave of deals between Big Oil and Big Agriculture as producers try to secure a steady supply of sustainable ingredients,” according to Bloomberg.

Bunge Chevron Ag Renewables, a joint venture between Bunge and Chevron, will purchase the harvested winter canola crop from farmers and use the resulting oil to create renewable fuel.

Chevron is committed to advancing a lower-carbon energy future, and we recognize renewable fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel are a solution to do that,” said Kevin Lucke, president of Chevron renewable energy group. “Feedstock innovation is a critical element of the growth of the renewable fuels industry, and innovative solutions like double-crop winter canola not only benefit the lower-carbon future, but also benefit farmers, consumers and the environment.”