Your questions about Camelina, answered

Your questions about Camelina, answered

Is it normal to see a crop develop flowers and pods simultaneously?

Yes, it is totally normal to have developing pods and flowers on the same plant. The main stem develops the fastest, then the side branches follow, from the top down to the bottom. Eventually, the whole plant will have green pods. Maturity also starts at the main stem but the difference to the lower branches isn’t as big as during flowering. No, the first pods won’t shatter.

What is the current market for Smart Earth Camelina?

Presently, the market for MIDAS Camelina is the United States biodiesel market. The meal, a valuable co-product of the crushing process, is registered as a feed ingredient for different livestock such as broiler chickens, cattle and pigs in the United States. The meal is not yet registered in Canada. Together with the Feeds Institute of the University of Saskatchewan we have conducted studies on the value of Camelina meal as a feed for chickens. The results of these studies are very encouraging and they are being submitted to CFIA with the goal of having Camelina meal approved as a feed ingredient in Canada, which we believe will further open markets for Camelina in Canada.

How many lbs of Camelina seed are in a bushel?

50 lbs/bu.

What do I have to keep in mind when combining Camelina?

Camelina is an early maturing crop (85 – 100 days) and has good shatter resistance; therefore, it can be either swathed or direct combined. When swathing camelina, make sure that the seed pods have turned from green to yellow; when swathed too early, the seeds won’t mature. Because the seeds of camelina are quite small, during combining producers need to reduce the fan speed or close the baffle to prevent blowing seeds out of the back of the combine.

We recommend starting with the following settings, checking for seed loss, and then modifying accordingly:

Ground speed: 4 – 5 MPH; Fan speed: 500 – 800 RPM; Cylinder speed: 800 – 1000 RPM;

Concave space: 1”; Top chaffer sieve number: 1/8” – 3/16” (JD, CASE IH, NH series).

Camelina needs to be combined on the dirtier side to ensure that as much seed as possible makes it to the bin; more chaff also brings the advantage of helping to reduce the risk of grain heating in the bin. Once delivered and cleaned at the elevator, producers are paid for the cleaned product. Smart Earth Seeds only buys your cleaned camelina, not your screenings.

What are the fertilizer requirements of Camelina?

The maximum nitrogen (N) requirements of Camelina range from 60 lbs/acre actual N (= 130 lbs/acre Urea (46% N) or 187 lbs/acre 32-11-0-6 blend) in the Brown Soil Zone to 90 lbs/acre actual N (= 195 lbs/acre Urea or 281.25 lbs/acre 32-11-0-6 blend) in the Black Soil Zone. The sulfur and phosphorous requirements of camelina are not yet known; we therefore recommend amounts sufficient for canola production.

Is Camelina covered under Crop Insurance?

Yes, Camelina is covered under Crop Insurance in Saskatchewan.

How much fertilizer can I put in the seed bed without damaging the seed?

Very little is known about fertilizer placement when seeding Camelina. But it is possible to make some educated guesses based on other crops such as canola. Damage from fertilizer placement is related to seed size, so Camelina would be quite sensitive. We recommend the maximum rate of phosphorus (P) that can be placed with the seed is 15 lbs of actual P2O5 per acre and sulphur (S) should not exceed 10 lbs of actual S/acre in the seed row. So if a grower uses a blend of P and S, the combined amounts should not exceed 25 lbs/acre of P205 and S. Generally, it would be better to apply S away from the seed. The only N that should be applied with the seed is the amount that is present in the phosphorus (11-51-0). Additional N will have to be side-banded, mid-row banded or broadcast. When using a seeder with mid-row bander, up to the maximum recommended N amounts (60 lbs/acre actual N) can be applied without risking seedling damage. When using a seeder with side-bander, depending on the type of side-bander, you might end up with seedling damage since some side-banders don’t do a great job separating the seed and fertilizer. If you have put down high amounts of N with canola in the past with no seedling damage, it will also work for Camelina, according to Eric Johnson, AAFC Research Farm Scott.

How easy is it to control Camelina volunteers? Can it become a weed?

Controlling Camelina volunteers is very easy. First of all, camelina seeds don’t go into dormancy and of those seeds that fall to the ground during harvest, most germinate quickly after. And because current Camelina cultivars have no tolerance to post-emergence broadleaf weed control, camelina plants that emerge in the subsequent season can be easily controlled with common broadleaf herbicides. A study that was conducted at the University of Alberta and investigated the weedy propensity of camelina (Walsh et al. 2013), showed that viable Camelina seeds, buried up to 4 inches deep, persisted less than 15 months and that camelina volunteer populations were nearly extinct after 2 years under conventional farming practices. With these characteristics, camelina is very unlikely to become a weed in agriculture.

How sensitive is Camelina to herbicide carry-over?

Camelina is quite sensitive to herbicide residues, particularly Group 2 herbicides (SUs and Imis). So it is important to review the history of herbicide use on land that is to be seeded with Camelina. As a rule, we do not suggest planting Camelina if it is not recommended to plant a Brassica crop such as canola or mustard in the year after a certain herbicide has been applied.

What are the herbicide options for Camelina?

Assure® II herbicide, for the control of grassy weeds, has Minor Use Registration in Camelina as of 2010. Currently, there are no post-emergence broadleaf herbicide options available for Camelina, but that will change in the not too distant future. For pre-emergence weed control options in Camelina, please call our agronomist at (306)931-3382.

Can I seed Camelina with an air seeder?

Yes. Camelina can be seeded with an air seeder as long as it is set to the shallowest position possible. When using an air seeder, we recommend increasing the seeding rate from 5 lbs to 8 lbs/acre.

How does Camelina cope with excessive moisture?

Camelina is a crop with good drought tolerance and it is better adapted to dry conditions and lighter soils than, for example, canola. But, like other crops, Camelina will profit from moisture, especially during early development, resulting in higher yields. What Camelina won’t tolerate is standing water and saturated soils over an extended period of time. Therefore, best to select a field that you know has been comparatively drier in the past.

What do I have to keep in mind when seeding Camelina?

Camelina seeds are quite small: about the size of alfalfa seeds, 1/3 the size of canola seeds. Make sure to seed Camelina as shallowly as possible. We recommend not seeding deeper than half an inch. Nevertheless, Camelina can be seeded with any seeding equipment. One way to seed Camelina is to broadcast the seed with a Valmar spreader followed by heavy harrowing. Camelina seeds need a good seed-soil contact and like most other crops, Camelina seeds need moisture to get a good start.

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