Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz): agronomic potential in Mediterranean environments and diversity for biofuel and food uses

M. C. Campbell A B , A. F. Rossi A B and W. Erskine A B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, M080, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

B Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: william.erskine@uwa.edu.au

Crop and Pasture Science 64(4) 388-398 https://doi.org/10.1071/CP13054
Submitted: 8 February 2013  Accepted: 30 May 2013   Published: 13 August 2013

Abstract

The oilseed camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz) was grown extensively in Northern Europe up to the 1950s. Increasing fuel prices coupled with a ‘diet-conscious’ society have revived interest in camelina for food and biofuel uses. This study assessed the agronomic potential of the crop under Mediterranean dryland conditions and the scope for selection in a diverse collection for food and biofuel use. Yield trials were conducted in the Western Australian wheatbelt between 1999 and 2008. In 14 environments, camelina gave an average yield of 1.04 t ha–1 compared with the canola (Brassica napus L.) control yield of 1.48 t ha–1. Camelina outyielded canola significantly at one site, whereas canola significantly outyielded camelina at five sites. Thirty accessions of camelina from five countries were compared in the field in 2011. Agronomic characteristics were recorded and fatty acid analyses performed; significant differences were observed. Accessions were identified with desirable biofuel qualities, and others selected as having fatty acid characteristics suitable for food use. Averaged over accessions, erucic acid content was high at 4.0%, ranging from 5.2% to a low of 2.5% in accession 4130. However, this line was tested in the agronomic trials and its fatty acid profiles varied greatly across environments. For stockfeed use, the protein content of the seed was found to be in range 23.2–29.1%.

Additional keywords: biofuel, food oil, stockfeed, fatty acids.


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