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Oregon firm gets investment to advance ag biomass market

Pacific Ag, the Hermiston, Ore., company that sells crop residue to biofuels plants, will us a $7 million investment to advance its growth.
Eric Mortenson

Capital Press

Published on August 10, 2015 10:07AM

Stacks of baled straw await shipment. Harvest residue from wheat, grass seed, corn and other crops can be used to make biofuels. Pacific Ag, of Hermiston, Ore., is a national leader in supplying biomass to fuel plants.

Courtesy of Pacific Ag

Stacks of baled straw await shipment. Harvest residue from wheat, grass seed, corn and other crops can be used to make biofuels. Pacific Ag, of Hermiston, Ore., is a national leader in supplying biomass to fuel plants.


Pacific Ag, a Hermiston, Ore.-based business that sells wheat, corn, grass seed and other crop residue to biofuels plants and other uses, received a $7 million funding boost from Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners.

Pacific Ag will use the investment to continue its growth in the Northwest and elsewhere, including Kansas, North Carolina and North Dakota, company CEO Bill Levy said in a statement.

Levy said the company is seeing rapid growth in demand for large quantities of crop residue, and is positioned to respond to the market.

In addition to providing cellulosic feedstock to make ethanol, the company also sells crop residue as livestock feed and to make mushroom compost, erosion control products to “tree-free” pulp and paper.

In an April 2015 interview with the website Biofuels Digest, Levy said his company partners with 600 growers across the country and this year will harvest more than 450,000 tons of biomass. He said the company owns the largest fleet of harvesting equipment and supplies cellulosic refineries operated by companies such as DuPont and Abengoa.

The investment is part of a USDA effort to steer funding into agricultural enterprises. Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, based in St. Louis, is a $154 million fund licensed as a rural business investment company by the USDA. The fund is a joint venture by Advantage Capital Partners and nine banks or other lending organizations that are federally chartered to serve ag businesses through Farm Credit Services.

Pacific Ag, founded in 1998, first focused on providing crop residue as cattle feed for domestic and export markets. In the Biofuels Digest article, Levy said the company recognized about six years ago that “feedstock supply for bio-refineries was a huge market opportunity, and one that we are uniquely able to serve.” The company now describes itself on its website as the nation’s biggest supplier of agricultural biomass supply chain solutions.



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