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Pennycress: The first cash cover crop

June 15, 2022

Illinois and Missouri farmers are trying out 10,000 acres of pennycress this year, a common weed that’s been bred into a high-value oilseed good for biofuels and high-protein meal.

Back in 2009, Win Phippen had this idea. If he could just raise a better pennycress, he might have another biofuel cash crop. So Phippen, a plant breeder at Western Illinois University, loaded up his wife and kids in the family minivan and hit the road.