By Malinda Geisler, content specialist, AgMRC, Iowa State University, email@example.com.
Profile reviewed May 2012.
Camelina (Camelina sativa) is an oilseed that is getting attention for its omega-3 nutritional attributes and as a possible, affordable source for biodiesel. It contains about 34 to 36 percent omega-3 oil.
Camelina is an annual that originated in Northern Europe. A member of the mustard family, it is also known more as a weed with names like false flax, gold of pleasure and leindotter.
According to Montana's National Agricultural Statistics Service, 9.5 million pounds of camelina were harvested from 9,400 acres in 2010. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations does not track international camelina statistics.
Camelina is well suited for marginal soils. According to Montana State University (MSU) research, camelina has a lower break-even cost than wheat and canola. The seed can be broadcast or drilled. Montana State trials indicate seed rates of 2.5 to 3 pounds per acre. The seeds are dense and small at 345,000 to 465,000 seeds per pound. Yields vary depending on soils and rainfall. Based on MSU research, camelina will average 1,800 to 2,200 pounds per acre under 16- to 18-inch rainfalls. In other dryland research trials by MSU, camelina yields averaged 1,000 to 1,700 per acre. Yields drop with less rainfall and increase when using irrigation. Montana State suggests including camelina in a three- or four-year crop rotation.
Camelina byproducts are being studied as feed sources for fish, chickens and cattle. In addition to Montana, camelina is grown in Slovenia, Ukraine, China, Finland, Germany and Austria.
- ARS Researching Camelina as a New Biofuel Crop, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 2010.
- Camelina, Montana State University - This research was presented at the January 2007 Harvesting Clean Energy Conference VII by Duane Johnson, Superintendent, MSU Northwestern Ag Research Center.
- Camelina, The National Non-Food Crops Centre, York, United Kingdom (UK).
- Camelina, Oregon State University Extension Service, 2008.
- Camelina: A Promising Low-Input Oilseed, Purdue University.
- Camelina Industry in U.S. Unites, All About Feed, 2009.
- Camelina Plant Guide, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, 2011.
- Camelina Production in Montana, Montana State University, 2008 - Research on all fronts, from how to best grow camelina to developing end use products of the oil and meal of this unique seed, is currently underway in Montana.
- Camelina Seed, Question of the Week, ATTRA, NCAT, 2007.
- Camelina Variety Trial Results, North Dakota State University, 2010.
- Great Plains Oil & Exploration Company - A Montana company that purchases camelina for biodiesel.
- Great Northern Growers, Montana Producer Cooperative - This producer cooperative produces camelina for omega-3 vegetable oil and for biodiesel.
- Guide for Producing Dryland Camelina in Eastern Colorado, Colorado State University Extension, 2011.
- Meal: More Than Just Chicken Feed, Biodiesel magazine, 2009 - FDA’s generally regarded as safe (GRAS) rating.
- Montana Camelina Production, National Ag Statistics Service, USDA, 2011.
- National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials, National Non-Food Crops Centre, United Kingdom (UK) - Established by the UK government, this center provides expertise in biorenewable markets and technologies.
- New Oil Fields, Industrial Oil Crops for the Northern Corn Belt are on the Horizon, Corn and Soybean Digest, 2010.
- Sustainable Oils - A joint venture between ag bioscience company Targeted Growth Inc. and Houston-based biofuel producer Green Earth Fuels LLC.
Links checked November 2013.