Federal Funding to Improve Camelina Traits

September 30, 2013

Federal funding has been budgeted for work to improve camelina’s traits as a contender for Canadian oilseed acres.  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz pledged $3.7 million in AgriInnovation funding for Soy 20/20 to develop market-ready varieties of camelina sativa for production across Canada and to help boost the value of the oil for industrial use.  Camelina yields oils that can be used in “green” lubricants and polymers, as an alternative to petroleum-derived products.  It’s also hardy enough to grow on “marginal” land, which could make it a valuable rotation crop for farmers, while its meal can also be used as “protein-rich” feed for cattle, poultry and hogs.  Federal agriculture department researchers are expected to collaborate with Soy 20/20 on this project by working to improve the agronomic traits of the crop, such as higher yield and oil content, improved seed size and resistance to diseases such as aster yellows.  Linnaeus Plant Sciences, an “industry partner” of Soy 20/20, is to manage the camelina research.