Oilseed crops have the potential to add complexity to crop rotations, provide valuable ecosystem services, and deliver additional value chains in the form of on-farm biodiesel,cooking oil, and highly nutritious feed for animals. OARDC researchers cultivated four oilseed crops in demonstration plots at The Mellinger Farm this past summer – the first research project conducted at the property. The one-acre plots of flax, canola, sunflower and camelina were evaluated in terms of their growth characteristics, yield, and ecosystem services, including floral resources for pollinators, bio-control services and soil conditioning.
The project was conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, who collected complimentary data in plots on their research farm in LaFarge, WI.
Organic Valley brought their mobile oil press to Mellinger Farm in September to press the harvested seeds and offer a workshop for their Ohio members and other interested farmers. Read about the project or the event.
The resulting oil, pressed meal and fiber are being analyzed by OARDC researchers to evaluate its potential for fuel, cooking and animal feed.