Benson Hill, a crop improvement company in St. Louis, announced it will launch Benson Hill Seeds. The new company will offer eMerge Genetics, a portfolio of non-GMO soybean varieties.
“Benson Hill’s crop design platform uses the most advanced traditional breeding and gene editing techniques to improve crop performance, nutrition profiles and taste and texture characteristics,” Matt Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill said in a news release. “As consumers demand greater focus on health and sustainability in food production, Benson Hill Seeds will deliver an expanded portfolio of soybean varieties with unique attributes that position growers to leverage those booming markets.”
Prior to this announcement, Benson Hill had built its business in the ag market with CropOS, a predictive plant breeding and gene editing platform. Earlier in 2019, Benson Hill acquired Schillinger Genetics of Iowa, which included the eMerge Genetics brand.
Benson Hill Seeds specifically provides non-GMO varieties with desirable protein and oil composition. The company says seeds also have “improved feed digestibility, low trypsin inhibitor and other quality sought by niche and high=volume end users while maintaining farmer yields.”
The company says their eMerge Genetics meet non-GMO Verified certification and sale in all markets, including the European Union.
“Our focus is to expand the product choices and facilitate transparency that growers and distributors are requesting to fully leverage these new market opportunities,” said Jeff Johnson, president of Benson Hill Seeds.
The new seed brand and business is making its debut this week.
Organic production, which uses non-GMO seeds, jumped 2% in 2018 to 6.5 million harvested acres in 2019. Additionally, the number of organic farms leapt to 17,648, or 3% year over year in the U.S. alone, according to Mercaris, a data service company that provides market intelligence information.
Experts expect demand for organic to continue to grow. In addition, global and animal- and plant-based protein demand is expected to double, Benson Hill finds. For this reason, Benson Hill is confident there are unprecedented opportunities for soybeans with greater nutrient density, feed efficiency and other quality attributes.