Sask Mustard honours carinata pioneer
By Sask Mustard
Jan. 16, 2013, Saskatoon, SK - Dr. Kevin Falk has been honoured by Sask Mustard for his innovative and breakthrough research with Brassica carinata. With the help of his colleagues at the Saskatoon Research Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Falk has turned carinata into a new cropping choice for producers in Western Canada.
Developed as industrial oilseed mustard, carinata has been grown on more than 10,000 acres by 70 different farmers in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta the past two years. For 2014, contracted production is expected to be at least 25,000 acres.
Falk's work on carinata began in 1993. Much of the interest in this species was the result of work by then graduate student Getinet Alemaw. Getinet worked under Drs. Gerhard Rakow and Keith Downey.
Falk began selecting for earliness, high seed oil and suitability for Western Canada. Once these goals were achieved, he turned his efforts to changing the oil and meal profile while maintaining high seed oil and meal protein contents.
Sask Mustard and the Canadian Mustard Association jointly fund Mustard 21 which has supported carinata development in recent years. Several selected lines of carinata have been contracted to industrial partners.
Carinata oil is being refined into biojet fuel. In 2012, carinata powered the world's first 100 per cent biojet fuel civilian flight. This was one of the top 25 scientific events of the year as determined by Popular Science.