GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- Thirteen seed companies, processors and researchers of camelina have formed the first trade association focused on camelina production and processing in North America. The North American Camelina Trade Association (NACTA) will work to promote research, production and the development of new markets for camelina -- a relatively new energy crop in North America that has exciting potential.
Camelina sativa, also known as gold of pleasure or false flax, is a member of the mustard family and a distant relative to canola. It is a fast-growing, short-seasoned crop that requires less water and fewer inputs than many crops. Its high oil content and other properties make it a great fit for biodiesel production, and interest in the crop has grown significantly in recent years.
"The formation of the North American Camelina Trade Association is another important step in building a strong, sustainable foundation for camelina production in the U.S. and Canada," said Scott Johnson, general manager of Sustainable Oils, and president of NACTA. "We are excited about camelina's future for farmers and its potential for reducing North America's dependence on imported oil. Together, we can achieve those goals more quickly and effectively."
The new organization brings together representatives across the camelina production and processing spectrum from the U.S. and Canada. NACTA leadership will be:
The first project funded by NACTA, through a grant from the Montana Department of Agriculture, was a research study to determine the level of camelina meal, the byproduct of camelina oil extraction, which can be fed to poultry. This study was submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for review. On February 6, the FDA issued a letter allowing the use of camelina meal in the diets of poultry broilers up to 10 percent of the weight of the total ration.
NACTA members are working with the FDA and the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to secure "Generally Recognized as Safe" certification for poultry and additional livestock species such as swine, beef cattle and dairy cattle, to broaden revenue opportunities for growers of camelina.
The formation of a trade association is just one of several milestones that have been reached over the past year, said Johnson. Highlights include:
The first annual meeting of the North America Camelina Trade Association is planned for October 2009.
SOURCE: North America Camelina Trade Association via PR Newswire.