Ottawa invests in oilseed development
By Top Crop Manager
Sept. 30, 2013, Ottawa – Funding has been budgeted to help improve camelina's traits as a Canadian oilseed crop.
Gerry Ritz, minister of agriculture, announced on Friday a $3.7 million investment for the Soy 20/20 project to research and develop new varieties of oilseed crops in Canada.
The investment will help the Soy 20/20 project develop market-ready varieties of camelina sativa to growers across Canada and will help increase the value of the oil for industrial use, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). This non-food crop provides high-value renewable oils that can be used for green lubricants and polymers, providing an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-derived products. AAFC researchers are collaborating on this project by working to improve the agronomic traits of the crop, such as higher yield and oil content, improved seed size, and resistance to diseases such as aster yellows. The project will be managed by Linnaeus Plant Sciences, an industry partner of Soy 20/20.
Camelina is a drought-tolerant crop that can survive on little water and fertilizer and can be grown on marginal land, making it a valuable rotation crop for farmers. The residual meal can also be used as a nutritious, protein-rich feed for cattle, poultry, and swine.