Canola plan moves forward

Canola plan moves forward

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is moving ahead with its plan to allow canola production in the Willamette Valley.

Clean-energy advocates and some farmers are eager to expand production of canola, but it has been banned from the Willamette Valley for years. The yellow-flowering plant produces seeds that can be pressed for oil to use in renewable fuels, but they also bring new pests and can cross-pollinate with sensitive plants that produce organic vegetable seeds.

The latest plan, outlined in proposed administrative rules filed Friday, would allow canola plants on up to 2,500 acres in the Willamette Valley if the fields are at least three miles from vegetable seed fields. Canola fields must be 25 acres or larger, under the theory that a smattering of small fields would be tougher to manage than large ones.


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