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CARINATA - Advanced Renewables

CARINATA - Advanced Renewables

The Carinata Program

Established in 2011, the UF carinata research and development program for advanced renewables is the premier carinata research program in the US. What started as small plot varietal evaluations has evolved into a multi-state, transdisciplinary, dedicated research-extension-education program investigating agronomic, economic, and social factors affecting commercial success of this oilseed biofuel feedstock in the Southeast US.

  • Key program areas include:
  • Multi-location genotype screening for regional adaptability and yield stability
  • Development of agronomic best management practices (planting, nutrient, pest, and harvest management)
  • Quantifying ecosystem services
  • Adapting carinata to current cropping systems
  • Carinata oil to ‘drop-in’ fuel conversion
  • Seed meal supplementation in beef and dairy cattle
  • Barriers to adoption and partnership mechanics

The program began with support through seed grant funding from UF-IFAS, Office of the Dean of Research, followed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services-Office of Energy from 2013-2016. This funding was supplemented by in-kind contributions from Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. and Mustard 21.

Since 2016, the program has been supported through grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as a coordinated agricultural project. The Southeastern Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC) [link: /SPARC/] brings together Southeastern institutions, industry, and government into a public-private partnership aimed at providing a resilient advanced bioenergy and bioproducts supply chain solution to the burgeoning US bioeconomy.

What is Carinata?

Carinata (Ethiopian mustard) is derived from the interspecific cross between B. nigra and B. oleracea. It is superior to other brassica species in terms of seed size, drought and heat tolerance, and low rates of seed shattering at maturity and harvest. Compared to other brassicas, carinata has considerably higher yields (2500-3000 kg/ha), with continuous crop improvement increasing this potential. It has high contents of erucic and linolenic acid in the extracted oil and only 6% saturated hydrocarbon. 

High erucic acid and glucosinolates make it unfit for human and animal consumption. The isothiocyanates released by the hydrolysis of glucosinolates present in carinata are potent bio fumigants that could control soil borne diseases, insects, and weeds. Additionally, resistance of carinata to diseases such as black leg and Sclerotinia stem rot is superior to that displayed by other brassicas. Overall, based on crop (and fuel) yields per unit area and the nature of its fatty acid composition, carinata is an efficient bioenergy feedstock.