North American camelina industry forms association

By Anna Austin | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 4, 2009, at 10:55 a.m. CST

The camelina industry has formed the North American Camelina Trade Association to promote research, production and the development of new markets for camelina, including biodiesel production.

Camelina, a member of the mustard family, may also be the first of several new alternative oilseed crops to reach commercialization for biodiesel production, as it is a fast-growing short-seasoned crop with high oil content. (Read "Meal: More Than Just Chicken Feed.")

Less than a month ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 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, The FDA's Feb. 6 approval followed the submittal of a Montana Department of Agriculture-funded study by NACTA, which determined the level of camelina meal which could be fed to poultry. While high in protein and vitamin E, camelina is also a good source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to weight gain in chickens.

NACTA is now working with the FDA and the American Association of Feed Control Officials to secure "Generally Recognized as Safe" certification for poultry and additional livestock species in order to broaden revenue for camelina growers.

Scott Johnson, General Manager of Sustainable Oils Inc., will serve as NACTA president. David King, chief executive officer of Great Plains-The Camelina Co. will serve as secretary, and Chief Executive Officer of Willamette Biomass Processors Craig Parker will assume the position of treasurer.
Great Plains and Sustainable Oils are camelina-based biodiesel developers which have been working with the FDA to gain approval for the crop to be used as livestock feed for several years. Willamette Biomass Processors is an Oregon-based oilseed processing facility and supplier of canola/camelina meal.

The first annual meeting of NACTA, which currently consists of 13 seed companies, processors and researchers of camelina across the U.S. and Canada, will be held in October.
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