Do you know the carbon footprint of your sorghum seeds?


To answer this question, a specific study program has been underway since 2021 in Argentina on grain and forage sorghums. The aim is twofold: to add value to seeds in terms of their carbon footprint, and to support agricultural sectors committed to sustainability.

“Sorghum could play a key role in low-carbon agricultural sectors”

Tomas Sundblad, head of the Advanta Sorghum Carbon project in Argentina, is convinced of this. He shared the reasons for this during his participation in the  the second world sorghum conference.

Initial findings after 2 years of research

Advanta’s work on the carbon footprint of seed production began in 2021. “First, we wanted to know the carbon footprint of production across the country” explains Tomas. “Our analyses revealed that in Argentina, the carbon footprint of seed production is 0.77kg CO2eq per kilo of seed. That’s half the global benchmark, which is 1.79 kg Co2eq/kg of seed (source: Agri-footprint 4.0).But we want to go even further, and to do that we’ve set ourselves two complementary goals.”

Towards carbon neutrality for our seeds…

“First, we want to further reduce the carbon footprint of our seeds and put in place compensation strategies for the remainder. In concrete terms, our aim is to offer farmers carbon-neutral seed bags. “

… and low-carbon agricultural production.

“We also want to have a positive impact on the sustainability of crops. To achieve this, we are turning to genetic research. We want to offer farmers improved hybrids that reduce the carbon footprint of the crop. 

Over the last two years, we have analysed data from thousands of hectares of cereals, under rainfed conditions and using different production techniques (with or without plant cover, with different types of organic inputs and combining different methods, etc.). They show that sorghum performs well in critical years and can be an interesting alternative in terms of a good grain yield/low carbon footprint ratio. 

We also calculated the carbon footprint of the forage sorghum silo. Here too, the results are favourable in terms of carbon footprint per kg of dry matter, soluble protein or metabolizable energy compared with maize silos. This is why we believe that sorghum could play a key role in the development of low-carbon agricultural chains, which could be a source of added value in sectors such as meat and milk production or biofuels (bioethanol and biogas). “

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