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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center


By Malinda Geisler, content specialist, AgMRC, Iowa State University, malindag@iastate.edu.

Profile reviewed May 2012.

camelina plantOverview

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.


  Links checked November 2013.


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