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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

Oregon House Votes to Keep Cap on Canola Farming in Willamette Valley

The Oregon House voted to maintain a cap on canola farming in the Willamette Valley until early 2028.


A cultivation limit of 500 acres had been set in 2013 for the Willamette Valley Protected District, which extends from Multnomah to Lane County, to set a boundary for researchers from Oregon State University to study the effects of the crop in the region. 

The Willamette Valley is one of the rare places in the world ideal for growing Brassicas - broccoli, cabbage, mustards, and kale. But because canola is also a member of the Brassica family, there were concerns that growing the crop near other Brassica operations may result in cross-pollination or the spread of pests and diseases. 


However, others that support lifting the ban, who are mostly grass seed farmers, claim that canola is a good rotational crop because it improves soil health and controls weeds while being a commodity crop that can provide a separate income stream. 


A compromise was put forward that would expand canola production to 2,500 acres; permanently limit genetically engineered canola to 500 acres; set a distance requirement between canola and other Brassica crops; establish a pinning map to avoid conflicts on this point; and would have lifted all limits after the 2025 harvest. However, an agreement could not be reached.


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Contact Lynda Kiernan-Stone,

editor of Unconventional Ag News, to submit a story for consideration: 
lkiernan-stone@highquestgroup.com

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