KWS Granted Approval for the “Energy Sunflower” METHASOL
(Einbeck, May 15, 2007/No. 12/vu)
Since 2004, KWS has been breeding sunflowers specifically for use in the biogas sector. From this breeding program, the variety METHASOL (breeder designation: KW0411) has successfully obtained approval and been entered in the European list of varieties. This underscores once again the unique position of KWS as an innovative breeder of plants for use in the energy sector.
With METHASOL, farmers growing crops for biogas use now have available for the first time a variety that, when cultivated as a main crop, substantially exceeds the dry matter yield of already approved sunflowers. This goal was reached by combining inbreeding lines that have both high biomass yield and maximized oil content.
Thus METHASOL is able both to utilize the growth period more effectively due to its long vegetation period, thereby producing higher dry matter yields, and also to live up to the outstanding fermentation characteristics of sunflowers due to its oil content. As a result, farmers can achieve higher methane yields per hectare with METHASOL than with other varieties. Additional approvals are expected in the next few years.
KWS is one of the world’s leading plant breeding companies with ongoing operations in 70 countries. The KWS Group employs a total of 2,500 people, mostly in Europe and North America. Its range of products includes new varieties of sugar beet, corn and cereal seed as well as oilseeds. KWS has been run as an independent family business for 150 years.