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After 20 Years, New Oilseed Shows Commercial Potential
After nearly 20 years of tedious plant breeding and production work, the new oilseed carinata is showing great signs of success. Dr. Kevin Falk of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada initiated the breeding program for the new oilseed in the 1990’s and says, “Like the success we had with canola, carinata will help to broaden the scope of field crops that farmers in arid regions can work with.”
  Source material used to develop carinata came from Africa, where the plant is known as Ethiopian Mustard. It has relatively high levels of erucic acid, a long chain fatty acid, which has good potential for lubricants, fuels and bio-plastic. Dr. Falk bred 2 successful varieties that were licensed to Mustard 21, a Sasketchewan non-profit corporation, in 2012 and 2013. Agrisoma Biosciences in Canada markets 3 varieties of seed under the Resonance brand name. Caranata is now being contracted in the U.S. and Canada and shows good potential.
  In 2015 farmers in western North Dakota produced 6,000 acres of the crop. Eric Eriksmoen of NDSU’s North Central Research Center in Minot, N. Dak. says carinata is an ideal source for biofuel, especially for jet fuel. He says the U.S. Navy supports carnata as a jet fuel because they’re interested in developing plant-based sources of fuel.
  Farmers in arid regions of the Plains and Upper Great Plains are welcoming carinata because the crop increases diversity. It’s particularly suited to the western Dakotas, southwest Sasketchewan and southern Alberta, where canola doesn’t perform as well. Farmers can use it in rotation with wheat, corn and sunflowers. It offers differences in planting, growing and harvesting, which effectively breaks up disease and weed cycles. Dakota farmers who’ve seeded carnata at the rate of 6 lbs. per acre say its seed costs about $25 per acre compared to more than $70 for corn and close to $40 for sunflowers. Yields typically run from 2,500 to just over 3,000 lbs. per acre. At a contract price of around $15 to $15.50 per cwt, revenue per acre is in line with other crops. Another benefit of carnata is that unlike canola, the seed pods aren’t prone to shelling while on the stem. Harvesting is generally slower because the plants are 4 to 5 ft. tall with pods up and down the stem.  
  After it’s harvested, carnata moves from grain storage to an oilseed processing facility. There the oil is extracted and the seed hull residue is left behind to be used as a quality protein livestock feed.
  Agrisoma’s U.S. Agronomy Manager Garrett Groves says the company is hoping to contract more acres in the future. Several elevators in western North Dakota have agreed to receive the crop from farmers.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dr. Kevin Falk, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, Sask S7N 0X2 Canada (kevin.falk@agr.gc.ca, or Garrett Groves, Agrisoma Biosciences (ph 701 351-3512; ggroves@agrisoma.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #5