Camelina sativa is an oilseed crop in the brassica family that includes canola, mustard and broccoli. The small-seeded, cool-climate crop has been grown in Europe. Research at Montana State University has shown camelina to be a promising dryland crop for use in biodiesel and other bioproducts. The Montana Department of Agriculture is working to provide information to companies seeking regulatory status for potential uses of camelina oil and byproducts and EPA registration for products to grow the crop.
The status of various development efforts:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must approve camelina and its byproducts for use in feed or in food for humans. The FDA recently provided further clarification to states (See details) to enable feeding of specified levels of camelina meal to laying hens, broiler chickens, cattle fed in confinement, and feeding of low levels of camelina meal to growing swine while additional animal testing proceeds.
In July 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved a tolerance for sethoxydim on Camelina sativa. BASF has issued a supplemental label for Poast herbicide to include camelina.
Fuel producers must obtain certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and prove that biodiesel meets federal standards. The current EPA standard for biofuels is American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification D 6751-06a. Camelina-based biodiesel did pass an earlier version of the standard, according to Montana Bioenergy Program officials.
To protect growers, grain buyers must be bonded and obtain Commodity Dealer/Warehouse licenses to purchase, offer contracts for, or store camelina. Licensed dealers may purchase camelina in addition to other grain or seed.
At the urging of Montana Sen. Jon Tester, the 2007 Farm Bill requires the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to develop a pilot crop insurance program for camelina. A USDA news release dated Nov. 30, 2011, indicated a pilot program to insure camelina crops would be offered for 2012 in some counties of Montana and North Dakota.
Two public varieties, Blaine Creek and Suneson, were developed by Montana State University and released in 2007. A private plant breeder also has been working on improvements to camelina. The Montana Seed Growers Association is working on draft standards for certified seed for camelina.
Published: Fri Apr 01 15:01:00 MDT 2011.
Last Modified: Fri Jan 06 14:41:53 MST 2012