Crop Week – Why Camelina?

If you cannot see the video above, click here

Canada has very diverse agronomic conditions across the country. Many times farmers just think of the big crops like corn, canola, soybeans, barley, wheat and oats and forget that there are many other crops being grown in Canada. One of those crops is Camelina, which is being promoted by the Great Plains Camelina Company. I have known Ryan Mercer, President of Canadian Operations, my whole life and thought that I would try and learn more about this crop that I self admittedly know nothing about except that it can be planted in February and is used for bio-diesel. Low input costs, low rainfall requirements and July harvesting are what drive some farmers to try camelina on their farms. One of the marketing tools being used to convince people that camelina is sustainable for bio-diesel is that it is a true fuel only crop. Camelina is never used for food products therefore will never affect the food supply.

In talking to Ryan it is very evident that Camelina is not a crop for everyone but does provide an oilseed alternative on marginal land. As Ryan mentions in the video, there were 10,000 acres in Western Canada in 2008 and they hope to have 50,000 acres in 2009.

If you would like more information on Camelina go to


Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4PM est. @shaunhaney


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