A key issue with biofuel production has been the need for inexpensive feedstocks that do not compete with agricultural land use or food production.
To develop low-impact feedstock suitable for underutilized land, the company is partnering with Stephen Kaffka, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
Kaffka plans to study the viability of oilseed crops for biofuel in test plots at UC Davis and in Salinas, the Imperial Valley and Five Points in the Central Valley. To test the feedstock for commercial farming use, Kaffka will plant the crops at John Diener's 5,400-acre Red Rock Ranch in the Central Valley, which produces 40 conventional and organic crops.
“I will do the agronomic work on new oilseed crops for my part of the grant, but there are a large number of other activities in the grant as well,” Kaffka said. “My goal is to be of service in support of emerging bioenergy groups in California.”
“We are very pleased with the work Dr. Kaffka has been doing, and look forward to working with him to develop the potential for new bioenergy crops in California,” said Russell Teall, president and founder of Biodico, the parent company of Biodiesel Industries of Ventura.