A canola experiment

A family of Prineville farmers receives a permit to test-grow canola for oil.

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Canola is gaining a foothold in Central Oregon. A family has received permission to grow a five- to 10-acre plot of canola on their property near Prineville, bringing a change to previous restrictions for growing the crop.

The Flegels’ long-term hope is the experiment will make economic sense, eventually help offset their $75,000 annual fuel bill by turning the oil into biofuel, and help their farm become more sustainable.

Two years ago, Wade Flegel applied for a similar permit but was denied. There was too much uncertainty surrounding the impact of canola on the area’s $14.9 million seed crop industry.

Bees are naturally more attracted to canola, which worried farmers that canola would compete for the pollinator’s attention, and the high-value vegetable crops would lose.

Read the full article in The Bulletin.