Saturday, June 8, 2019

Canola in Central Washington

In the slightly wetter dry land farming zones of central and eastern Washington, canola fields have become part of the crop rotation.

Central Washington canola field with North Cascades in the distance

Connolly, McCracken and Painter (2016) describe a cost spread sheet developed for farmers considering planting canola. There has been an uptick in canola in Washington in part due to a canola oil plant built in Warden in 2013. Viterra recently gained full ownership of that plant (Press Release to WSU). Improvements to infrastructure and technical support may lead to expansion of canola in Washington.

The term canola is derived from combining "Canada" with "ola". Canola is a product of breeding out the undesirable part of rapeseed and was developed on the plains of Canada. Viterra is a Canadian Company.

Changes in farming can be global, and a big market for canola oil is China. The US-China trade struggles may impact these brilliant yellow fields. China has its own canola agriculture and has had trade disputes regarding canola imports to China from Canada that recently popped up again likely associated with the Huawei case.

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