News & Updates

Recently published blog posts on our Camelina breeding and production community. Read to learn how researchers, growers, or even bees love Camelina.

David Roberts - Communications LPS | Smart Earth Seeds

Camelina meal in Canadian dairy feeding trial

Camelina meal in Canadian dairy feeding trial
Eight Holstein cows in a dairy barn at the University of Saskatchewan will consume nearly five tonnes of Camelina meal to see if various inclusions of the diet will produce volumes of fine-tasting milk with healthy Omega3 nutrients. Rex Newkirk, Chair of Food Processing Technology in the Department of Animal Science and Poultry, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, said two experimental trials are underway to assess Camelina meal as feed for dairy cows. "The intention is to get Camelina meal approved as feed (by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency), said Newkirk. Results of the two studies will be peer reviewed and submitted to the CFIA. "There is some previous work showing the possible benefits of the fatty acid profile of the milk (from Camelina-fed cows)," he said. Indeed, recent European trials confirmed that concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega-type fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) rose significantly in milk from...
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Camelina meal fed to hens increases Omega3 content of eggs

Camelina meal fed to hens increases Omega3 content of eggs
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved Omega3-boosting Camelina cake for inclusion in feed for laying hens, reports the Western Producer. Researchers recently told the Western Canada Poultry Research Workshop that a market for Camelina meal could lead to one million to two million acres of Canadian farmland being dedicated to growing this promising oilseed. Camelina seed is one-third oil and finding a use for the remaining meal — known as cake — has been the focus of research by Eduardo Beltranena and his Alberta Agriculture colleague Matt Oryschak over the past four years, Alberta Farm Express reported. The research was conducted with seed supplied by Smart Earth Seeds. Oryschak and Beltranena worked on the application to CFIA seeking approval for use of Camelina meal in hen diets. They said that adding Camelina to a laying hens diet can increase the Omega3 content of the eggs. Their research by The Poultry Research...
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Dairy cows fed Camelina produce healthier milk, study says

Dairy cows fed Camelina produce healthier milk, study says
Dairy cows fed Camelina as a replacement for sunflower meal produce healthier milk, a recent study shows. The research, by a team at the school of veterinary science at the University of Bucharest, found that partial or full replacement of sunflower meal with Camelina meal didn't have any negative impact on the ability of dairy cows to produce milk. But valuable concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, Omega6 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) were improved significantly when Camelina meal was fed as a replacement. Concentrations of saturated fatty acids also significantly decreased. "In conclusion, the vegetal ingredients rich in PUFA have beneficial effects on milk  quality which in turn improves the health states of consumers," the research team said. This work complements earlier research by Daniel Mierlita and Simona Iona Vicas, published in the South African Journal of Animal Science, that found dietary supplementation with Camelina seed increased the oxidative...
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Camelina at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show

Camelina at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show
Thanks to everyone who visited our Smart Earth Seeds booth at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show again this year. We were pleased to meet producers and to offer the very latest information about how to best grow Camelina, and to describe its many functions and uses. The show, held this year from January 11-14 at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has become Western Canada's premier agricultural industry showcase. This is the third year Smart Earth Seeds presented trend-setting information about Camelina at the Crop Production Show. Camelina is a good fit in rotation with winter cereals such as winter wheat and fall rye. Depending on the individual farm, net profits can be $100/acre or more due to good yields and low input costs. This year, Camelina is included in the Saskatchewan Seed Guide (p. 26): http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/20/83845-Varieties-Grain-Crops-2016.pdf  We're excited to talk about Camelina's place in the market and its' many...
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An agronomic miracle: Camelina overcomes the toughest growing conditions

An agronomic miracle: Camelina overcomes the toughest growing conditions
Denis Keller planted Midas brand Camelina on 120 acres of very marginal land a new miles north of Landis, Sask., last April. It's very sandy soil, near Goodspring Lake. "Kind of like beach sand," said Garry Graham, agronomist with Central Plains Co-operative in Rosetown. Friends and relatives told Denis that this particular pasture land was not really fit for growing crops. Previous efforts to grow barley had been anything but successful. So no one was really very surprised when drought-like conditions persisted in the early summer and nothing happened - no crop emerged - not even much in the way of weeds. "He asked if he was even going to get weeds growing there," said Garry. "It was so dry that even the weeds weren't up." By June a few patches of cleavers (Galium aparine) were spotted in a few corners and Denis decided he might as well hit them with glyphosate...
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Camelina offers a sustainable solution for global aquaculture

Camelina offers a sustainable solution for global aquaculture
It seems ironic but a solution to the overfishing crisis in the worlds' oceans can be directly tied to the productivity and ingenuity of dryland farmers in Western Canada. A new research study confirms that meal and oil derived from the oilseed plant Camelina sativa can effectively substitute for oil and meal in fish feed. This has major implications for the aquaculture industry and for sourcing high Omega3 oil for a rapidly expanding human population. A decade ago the WWF identified massive volumes of wild fish were being fed to caged farm fish: “Four kgs of wild-caught fish are needed to produce 1kg of farmed fish,” it said, noting the practice was placing an unsustainable strain on the world's oceans, threatening the global fish supply. As with humans, most farmed fish obtain vital Omega3 fatty acid nutrients through their diets, that is by consuming "feed-grade" fish. This unsustainable practice led to efforts...
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UPDATED: Camelina contracts for late-seeding Saskatchewan growers

UPDATED: Camelina contracts for late-seeding Saskatchewan growers
Smart Earth Seeds contracted about 5,000 acres of Midas Camelina among Saskatchewan producers last season and in 2015 we extended the contracting window as producers contemplated late seeding or re-seeding following frost and heavy rains. We are very happy to be working with our growers again this year, and plan on a successful season with this low-input, short season oilseed that matures in just 85 to 100 days. Here is a recent news story in the Manitoba Co-operator, describing how Camelina can serve as a short season alternative for growers who are re-seeding or late seeding due to frost or moisture. With disease and pest resistance, Camelina is also very drought tolerant. The photo above, taken June 8, 2015, shows a Camelina crop emerging very nicely in drought-stricken fields near Rosetown, Saskatchewan. Camelina is an ancient oilseed that holds great promise for a greener future: There is evidence to suggest that feeding rations of Camelina seed, meal, or oil contributes...
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Camelina feed, meal and oil shows potential to improve animal products

Camelina feed, meal and oil shows potential to improve animal products
An oilseed hat-trick: Camelina seed, meal and oil fed to chickens, goats and fish makes for healthier animal products, a growing body of research suggests. In one Romanian university study it was shown that goats whose feed is supplemented with Camelina produce milk that is healthier for humans. The study by Daniel Mierlita and Simona Iona Vicas, published in the South African Journal of Animal Science, found that dietary supplementation with Camelina seed increased the oxidative stability of milk samples in dairy ewes - suggesting that a "grass-silage-based diet supplemented with Camelina seed results in milk of better quality for human consumption." Finnish researchers publishing in the Journal of Dairy Science found that cow rations supplemented with Camelina oil produce milk containing isomers that are known to confer cardiovascular and immune system benefits. The same study found a serendipitously positive environmental effect: cows fed Camelina produce less methane gas!  Meanwhile, University of Alberta researchers found that Camelina...
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Bees love those pretty yellow camelina flowers

Bees love those pretty yellow camelina flowers
Researchers have found winter-grown camelina works very well as a forage resource for bees combing for nectar on sparse ground in early spring. Scientists with the United States Department of Agriculture planted pennycress, canola and camelina to see how bees responded to their early spring blooms. "All three cover crops had high insect visitation during their anthesis periods," says a paper delivered to the combined International Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. "Pennycress attracted mainly flies, while winter camelina and winter canola attracted both flies and bees. All three crops provide an important forage resource to pollinators during early spring when there is little else on the agricultural landscape that is blooming." The trial was part of an experiment in the use of winter oilseeds in the Northern Plains region of the United States. Traditionally the harsh winters,...
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Camelina resists 5 common insect pests of canola

Camelina resists 5 common insect pests of canola
A team of Saskatoon researchers has found that Camelina seems to naturally resist 5 common insect pests that often plague the Canola crop. The study, published in The Canadian Entomologist, found that Camelina suffered little feeding damage from various crucifer-feeding flea beetles, root maggots or diamondback moths. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers reported that diamondback moths laid fewer eggs on Camelina leaves than they did on Canola leaves. Diamondback moth larvae also consumed less Camelina leaf tissue and tended to have a longer developmental period on Camelina compared with Canola. "Larvae of the bertha armyworm had similar feeding levels on Camelina and Canola but there was a longer developmental period from larval to pupal stage and pupae weighed less when fed on Camelina foliage, suggesting that Camelina contains antibiosis factors against bertha armyworm," they said. Two strains of aster yellows phytoplasma were found in Camelina [but] "the findings confirm that Camelina is...
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Camelina Approved for Broiler Chicken Meal in Canada

Camelina Approved for Broiler Chicken Meal in Canada
Smart Earth Seeds is pleased to announce that Camelina meal has been approved for the first time in Canada for use in broiler chicken feed. Smart Earth Seeds is the leading global Camelina enterprise and has been working to develop Camelina as a valuable new oilseed rotation crop in Western Canada. Thanks to the efforts of the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Animal and Poultry Science and Feeds Innovation Institute with support of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture (ADF), The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has given approval for feeding cold-pressed non-solvent extracted camelina meal to broiler chickens at up to 12% inclusion. This work is continuing as the university is initiating a second application for approval for laying hens. "This is a major step forward for Camelina in Canada," said Jack Grushcow founder and CEO of Smart Earth Seeds. "We are now able to develop local markets for our high quality Camelina...
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Smart Earth Seeds at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show

Smart Earth Seeds at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show
Coming to a Crop Show near you ... Smart Earth Seeds is pleased to be attending the Western Canadian Crop Production Show again this year, where we offer producers the very latest information about how to best grow the exciting oilseed crop Camelina, and describe its many functions and uses. The show, from January 12-15, 2015, at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has become Western Canada's premier agricultural industry showcase. This is the second year Smart Earth Seeds has presented trend-setting information about Camelina at the Crop Production Show. We are in Hall B, booth B69, in the same location as last year. Christina, our plant breeder, will be there along with other Smart Earth representatives to discuss the best agronomic practices for our Midas brand Camelina sativa. We can answer all your questions about Camelina seeding dates and rates, weed control and fertility. As well as talking about the latest trends and information relating to Camelina...
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David Roberts

re: Question for camelina seed...

Hi Guillaume: Cold-pressed Camelina oil has been approved as a novel food in Canada and Camelina meal is approved by CFIA for use ... Read More
Thursday, 15 January 2015 16:21
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What's in a Name? Synonyms for Camelina sativa

What's in a Name? Synonyms for Camelina sativa
In many languages Camelina is simply .... Camelina. Camelina may also be called: gold-of-pleasure, caméline de l’Ouest, linseed dodder, petit lin, camelina pilosa, false flax, Hryst [Serbian], Lnicznik [Polish], sésame d’Allemagne, big seed false flax, Tuder [Estonian], large seeded false flax, caméline ciliée, Рыжик посевной [Russian], caméline faux-lin, western false flax, wild flax, Dutch flax, faux-lin, petit lin, sésame bâtard, Leindotter, Saat-Leindotter, dodder [Danish], dådror [Swedish], lnianka, gomborka [Hungarian],  western false flax, German sesame, caméline cultivée, faux-lin de l’Ouest, Judra [Lithuanian], lin bâtard, 亚麻荠 [Chinese], סאטיבה קמלינה [Hebrew], कैमेलीना सैटाइवा [Hindi], Ketenciler'de [Azerbaijani], კამელინის [Georgian], アマナズナ属 [ Japanese], كاميلينا [Arabic] and ... Myagrum sativum - which is an older name for camelina that we mentioned in an earlier Smart Earth Seeds blog entry about various uses for this important crop. The use of this ancient oilseed dates back thousands of years into human history and its' evidence is found among the earliest of domesticated crops. Do you know of more linguistic...
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Camelina recorded in Carl Linnaeus's early manuscripts

Camelina recorded in Carl Linnaeus's early manuscripts
Included among a handwritten list of plant genera in Carl Linnaeus's Manuscripta Medica Tom. I (1727 - 1730) we find Camelina! A distinguished scientist and doctor, the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus developed the binomial naming system of plants and animals with which we are all familiar. His work provides the fundamental framework for knowledge of the biota of the Earth, supporting effective conservation measures and the sustainable use of biodiversity. A digital archive of Linnaeus's specimens, manuscripts and letters, including morphological details and written data, is held by the Linnean Society of London. The Manuscripta Medica was compiled during his student days, and contains a wealth of excerpts (250 folios) from various different authors. In these early manuscripts, Linnaeus employed at least three methods to display and digest information: lists, dichotomous diagrams, and tables. Housed in a purpose-built underground strong room, The Linnean Collections comprise the specimens of plants (14,300), fish (158), shells (1,564) and insects...
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What's Camelina worth? Hot topic of the week in rural New York, 1864

What's Camelina worth? Hot topic of the week in rural New York, 1864
Among the contemporary Agricultural Topics in Moore’s Rural New Yorker (Rochester) for the week ending Saturday September 3, 1864, is the question of the present value of Camelina sativa: Alonzo Hendrick writes: — "I send you, herewith, some yellow seed or false flax. Is it worth anything in market. I have often heard it said it was worth as much as flax seed for oil; but whether it is like tory burrs in wool, I do not know. One man said he had made much money by them, because they brought as much as the wool. I do not know the botanical name of this plant, but it will probably produce ten seeds to one of flax. Will a screen to separate flax from all other seeds, be an invention that will pay?” This plant is Camelina sativa — Gold-of-pleasure. It is cultivated in Europe — is a common crop there in many...
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Camelina found in Viking-era burial sites, settlements

Camelina found in Viking-era burial sites, settlements
Organic material from Viking settlements shows that the famous Old Norse seafarers and warriors produced bread from sieved flours of flax (Linum usitatissimum) and gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa). “The majority of surviving Swedish prehistoric bread can be dated to the later part of the Early Medieval Period (which in Sweden incorporates the Migration Period (400 -550 AD), the Vendel Period (550 -800 AD) and the Viking Age (800 -1050 AD),” said archeologist Anne-Marie Hansson (link below). It is believed camelina was used for lighting, cooking oil, and food and recent evidence points to camelina being grown as a distinct field crop in Scandinavia in this era. Archeologists analyzed organic material from the Migration-Viking period at Helgö and from the prototown of Birka, in Sweden. Camelina was found in cremation graves dated from 750-975 C.E. Around 1000 graves were excavated near Birka and of these, about 500 proved to hold cremation burials,...
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Camelina oil noted by Confederate physician during US Civil War

Camelina oil noted by Confederate physician during US Civil War
Here is a snippet about the extraordinary properties and uses of Camelina [Gold of Pleasure] oil that was prepared for the Confederate Army during the US Civil War. Resources Of The Southern Fields And Forests was written in 1863 by Dr. Francis Peyre Porcher to provide “scientific and popular knowledge as regards the medicinal, economical, and useful properties of the trees, plants, and shrubs found within the limits of the Confederate States.” The book, according to the Medical University of South Carolina, was commissioned by the surgeon general of the Confederacy, Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, to identify substitutes for the manufactured drugs that were unavailable due to the Union blockade of southern ports and the lack of southern pharmaceutical laboratories. Porcher writes: "Camelina sativa, Crantz., referred to in Chapman's Botany of Southern States, and in P. O. Report on Agriculture, 1851, is a new oil plant. "In some parts of the...
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Camelina: a favourite among geese, sheep, cows and goats in 1816

Camelina: a favourite among geese, sheep, cows and goats in 1816
  Here is an interesting reference to Camelina that is almost 200 years old. All words and terms beginning with the letter M are in Volume 15 of the 23 Volume Encyclopaedia Perthensis, published in Edinbugh in 1816. Subtitled the Universal Dictionary of the Arts, Sciences, Literature etc and 'Intended to Supersede the Other Books of Reference and Illustrated with 370 Plates and Maps', under the Letter M we find the term Myagrum or Gold of Pleasure in botany; ... "There are 5 species of plants but the only remarkable one is Myagrum sativum [Camelina sativa] which grows naturally in corn fields in the south of France and Italy and in some parts of Britain. It is an annual plant, with an upright stalk a foot and a half high sending out 2 or 4 side branches, which grow erect; the flowers grow in loose spikes at the end of the...
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Camelina shows potential anticancer properties, Illinois study suggests

Camelina shows potential anticancer properties, Illinois study suggests
University of Illinois scientists have found compounds in Camelina that boost liver detoxification enzymes nearly fivefold - suggesting further studies should be undertaken to explore Camelina's anti-cancer properties. “The bioactive compounds in Camelina sativa seed ... are a mixture of phytochemicals that work together synergistically far better than they do alone. This seed meal is a promising nutritional supplement because its bioactive ingredients increase the liver’s ability to clear foreign chemicals and oxidative products. And that gives it potential anti-cancer benefit,” said U of Illinois professor of nutritional toxicology, Elizabeth Jeffery. In the first study of Camelina’s bioactive properties, scientists isolated four major components—three glucosinolates and the flavonoid quercetin—from defatted Camelina seed meal.They tested the components on mouse liver cells and found that all four major Camelina bioactives induced the detoxifying liver enzyme NQO1. And when a particular glucosinolate, GSL9, was paired with the flavonoid quercetin, there was a synergistic effect....
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Omega-3 laden Camelina found in prehistoric N. European diets

Omega-3 laden Camelina found in prehistoric N. European diets
You know that Camelina is rich in omega-3 fatty acid and α-linolenic acid. But what about the fact that Camelina was found in the digestive system of the ancient Tollund Man? The Tollund Man lived in the Pre-Roman Iron Age, 4th Cent BC. The body was found remarkably preserved in a Danish peat bog in the 1950s. Scientists discovered that his last meal had been a kind of porridge made from wild and cultivated crops and seeds: barley, linseed, gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa), knotweed, bristlegrass, and chamomile. There were no traces of meat in The Tollund Man's digestive system. It seems Camelina was part of the diet of Northern Europe in this period, as stomach contents of other bog bodies have revealed. The Tollund Man can be found today in the Silkeborg Museum. Here is the Wiki on The Tollund Man: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tollund_Man Photo © 2004 Silkeborg Public Library, Silkeborg Museum
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