March 17, 2021 - Tennessee-based Genera, a producer of ag-based pulp and molded fiber products, has announced a new program to support regional farmers by offsetting the cost of establishing switchgrass crops in East Tennessee.
Genera's Switchgrass Establishment Assistance (SEA) program provides participating producers financial incentives of up to $200 an acre to plant new switchgrass acres. The program is part of Genera's strategy to grow a local market for switchgrass and to fully supply its manufacturing facility with feedstock from the local region.
"In order to ensure consistent operations at our fully integrated facility, we're committed to partnering with local producers and providing a sustainable, long-term market for these crops," said Brad Valentine, Genera's feedstock manager. "We're excited to offer this opportunity to producers who want to participate in this new market with little out-of-pocket costs upfront."
The SEA program has a minimum acreage requirement of 15 acres and the producer must enter into a production agreement with Genera. Through this program, a Genera representative will work with each SEA participant to develop an individually tailored establishment plan and will provide agronomic management advice for the crop.
"This is an ideal region for a crop like switchgrass, which can provide reliable income, even from otherwise unproductive acreage," Valentine said. "The initial cost of establishing a crop, however, is a common concern. We are confident our success will demonstrate the economic potential for producers in the area, but we developed the SEA program as a way to accelerate the production of local acreage."
Genera's fully operational facility processes agricultural crops such as switchgrass into ag-based fiber and the Earthable® line of sustainable food-grade, compostable packaging. The facility, which is the largest fully integrated domestic solution for ag-based fiber and food packaging in North America, will host 160 employees at full production.
Genera, a Tennessee-based ag fiber manufacturer, works to simplify supply chains with domestically sourced and produced ag-based pulp and molded fiber products. To learn more, visit: generainc.com.
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