Irrigation-Free Oilseed Crop, Camelina, Successful in Trials
As drought conditions persist, Oregon State University researchers are seeing success in early trials of camelina, an irrigation-free oilseed crop that is gaining the attention of farmers.
Researchers have found that by planting camelina on land that would have otherwise remained fallow, farmers could realize a small profit margin, with the crop helping to pay land costs and preventing erosion that can often occur on fallow, dry fields. One trial field produced 1,500 pounds of seeds per acre, which would provide a farmer with $300 – all without irrigation.
“We need to be thinking about what we’re going to do without water,” said Oregon State University Malheur County experiment station director, Clink Shock. “This is not a big money maker but it is a way of taking care of your farm ground. Also, consider that the return on the land will be negative without a crop.”