Relay-Cropping of Winter Camelina and Short-Season Soybeans

Crop Soybean
Start Date2016
End Date2017
Principal InvestigatorEynck, Christina, Linnaeus Plant Sciences
MPSG Financial Support$7,000
Total Project Funding$10,000

Research Objectives

Investigate the feasibility,  yields, seed quality and the economics of relay-cropping winter camelina with soybeans compared to conventional monocropped soybean under southern Manitoba growing conditions

Project Description

Camelina is well adapted to the growing conditions on the Canadian Prairies: it is a short-season crop, is frost and drought tolerant, resistant to several insect and diseases pests of canola and is shatter resistant. It performs well on lighter soils and can be grown with low input costs. While spring-type camelina is currently grown (mainly in Saskatchewan) winter-type camelina is not yet commercially produced; however, winter-type camelina has repeatedly been successfully grown in both experimental plots and large-scale fields trials in west central Minnesota. Here, winter camelina possessed excellent winter survivability and could be harvested as a cash crop early enough the following summer (end of June) to allow enough time to produce a second crop, such as soybeans, in a double-cropping or relay-cropping scenario.

With the approval of camelina meal as feed ingredient for broiler chicken by CFIA in November 2014 and the recent findings of the excellent suitability of camelina oil as a replacement for fish oil in feeding rations of farmed salmons, the demand for camelina products has increased dramatically.    With these promising developments in the camelina market, we expect that producing winter camelina prior to and in the same growing season as soybeans will provide soybean growers with additional revenue. Next to the anticipated improvement of economic returns, growing winter camelina as a winter cover crop also has a number of environmental benefits such as the prevention of soil erosion , uptake of excess N and the provision of habitat and early feed source for beneficial insects. Relay-cropping winter camelina with soybeans in southern Manitoba will be of both economic and ecologic value for Manitoba agriculture by providing a means to intensify production while diversifying cropping systems.