The seed oil of camelina is an exceptional source of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E for human consumption.
Camelina is a short-season oilseed crop: time from seeding to maturity is only 85 to 100 days. Camelina possesses very good frost tolerance in the seedling stage and the full-grown plants exhibit good drought tolerance – characteristics that make it an attractive oilseed crop for Saskatchewan, particularly in the lighter soils of the southwest.
Resistance to flea beetles and black leg disease, as well as good pod shatter resistance, add to the agronomic benefits of this crop. Lower input costs make for competitive returns at low risk. Camelina has been successfully produced in locations across Saskatchewan.
The seed oil of camelina is an exceptional source of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E for human consumption. In addition, camelina provides a sustainable meal and oil for animal feed (horses, companion animals, and aquaculture). The oil is also used as a sustainable, plant-based replacement for petroleum in industrial applications, such as lubricants; as well as an ingredient in cosmetics.
Smart Earth Seeds, a division of Linnaeus Plant Sciences Inc., is leading the advancement of camelina, developing new markets for the meal and oil, and building distribution and processing infrastructure. Since 2014, the company has contracted over 20,000 acres across Saskatchewan, establishing demonstration sites in various communities in order to familiarize growers with the many benefits of this crop. One of the greatest challenges for producers and processors is the lack of in-season weed control. To address this, Linnaeus Plant Sciences has developed a new herbicide tolerant camelina variety. Regulatory approval is pending.
As part of the Diverse Field Crops Cluster, Linnaeus Plant Sciences continues to develop elite camelina lines with superior agronomics to make it a crop that is easier and more reliable for farmers to grow, and to further enhance the value of the seed for processors and end-users. Specifically, the work will focus on the development of herbicide tolerant, spring camelina germplasm and varieties, with improved seed oil and meal characteristics for animal feeds; the development of a molecular breeding platform; and development of new elite winter-type camelina breeding lines.