A three-year, $300,000 effort aims to find out whether camelina is the Northwest's great biofuel hope or simply another crop rotation that doesn't live up to its hype.
A group of four researchers from Washington State University, the University of Idaho and Oregon State University are working together to provide growers with the agronomic answers. WSU agronomist Bill Schillinger said trials are already established in Corvallis, Pendleton, Moscow and Lind. Other team members include UI's Stephen Guy and OSU's Don Wysocki in Pendleton and Tom Chastain in Corvallis.
The researchers want to evaluate whether results already achieved in Montana are possible in the Northwest. Duane Johnson, vice president of Agricultural Development for Great Plains Oil and Exploration, said his company contracted 28,000 acres in Montana. Others contracted 11,000 additional acres.
Camelina is in the same family of plants as canola, mustard and broccoli and has shown promise as a feedstock for biodiesel. The meal leftover after the oil has been extracted can also be used as animal feed.