Benchmark has prepared new processes and pathways to improve yields on traditional biofuel feed stocks. While new varieties of Corn and Grain Sorghum are under developing, Benchmark is ready to implement in the first plant, a crop with a history of successful cultivation and production in Florida. Sweet Sorghum has been grown in Florida for over 100 years.
Sweet Sorghum is a non-food crop and is not subject to commodity pricing risks. Sorghum will be grown for Bio-Fuel. In suitable climate, sweet sorghum allows for two to two and a half harvests per growing season. This long growing season makes production tonnage more competitive than all other sources of sugar. Sorghum can be grown on marginal quality soil and only needs minimal water for irrigation. Compared to other crops, sweet sorghum needs only one-third the water required by corn.
Utilizing Camelina ( mustard seed ) as a rotational crop, in addition the company is able to produce drop-in aviation Bio-Jet fuel .
New USDA multiseed grain sorghum hybrids are also used to produced bio-fuel and DDG meals.
When vertically integrating a second generation bio-fuel plant with the farming of the required feedstock, the company intends to deploy equally advanced, available technology to insure maximum yields of the selected crop(s).
The company has partnered with a fourth generation Midwest farming group and has developed the farming capabilities to assure a secure supply chain model when integrating the processing plant to farming operations.
In addition to utilizing best demonstrated farming practices in use , new state of the art technology will be deployed to the selected farming operations.
Among the now technologies that will be included are:
1. Each field of the new farm will be linked to information technology, utilizing SMS ( Software from Ag Leader ) that will assure growing the optimum number of brix/per ton, and tons/acre of the selected crop.
2. Tilling practices include precision planting (Precision Planting Field View + software).
3. Farming equipment will use John Deere’s GS3 2630 monitors and RTK Receivers. This will allow all equipment to utilize the auto steer and GPS guidance feature.
4. Fertilizer application is optimized utilizing the 20/20 precision monitor.
5. Close support by previously selected seed company to ensure using the best available seed variety for the selected location’s climate and conditions.
In addition the company will use satellite surveillance and imagery (available worldwide) to optimize the management of each crop.
Utilizing EOS Satellite services, the company can quickly calculate and make comparison of crop conditions in accordance with a particular area of interest. This assessment incorporates various parameters: Normalized Vegetation Difference Index (NDVI), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR).
Certain regions will have more than one agriculture growing season, and optimizing artificial irrigation is important. Utilizing unique algorithms based on the SAR data, the company will be able to determine the soil moisture at growing fields in real time.
In the case of crop losses and crop insurance claims, the company will accurately and repeatedly assess current and historic crop losses. Utilizing Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 imagery, EOS allows its customers to identify crop types and actual areas of damaged crops.