Canola in the Valley: Seeds of Change?

Canola has potential as a rotation crop for grass seed farmers and as a source of local biofuel, but the
seeds from which it is produced are generating more than a little heat among
Willamette Valley farmers. The specialty vegetable seed industry remains
opposed to the presence of canola, citing concerns over contamination of their
high-value crops. Meanwhile, grass seed growers and others argue that with
proper management, canola and vegetable seeds can co-exist.
At the Sept. 9 meeting of the Corvallis City Club, two speakers will address this issue. State Representative Sara Gelser,
D-Corvallis, authored a bill to ban canola from a 3-million-acre region of the
valley through 2019. The bill also authorizes limited canola research by Oregon State. It passed both the house and senate and was signed by Governor
Kitzhaber on August 14.
Matt Crawford is president of the 90-member Willamette
Valley Oilseed Producers Association. He welcomes the chance to grow canola on
his Polk County farm.
The Corvallis City Club meets in a new location, the Les
Schwab Gym of the Boys & Girls Club, 1112 NW Circle in Corvallis. The
meeting starts at 12 noon with doors open at 11:30. Lunch is catered by Café
To register, send email to by Sept. 5 and
indicate whether or not you will be having lunch. A gourmet dessert will also
be available.

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