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Lawmakers propose canola ban


A bill banning canola production in Oregon is among 1,200 bills that were introduced in the first week of the 2013 Legislature.



Senate Bill 433 prohibits raising canola throughout Oregon and subjects those who do to a $25,000 civil penalty.



It is sponsored by Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, and four Eugene Democrats: Sens. Chris Edwards and Floyd Prozanski and Reps. Phil Barnhart and Paul Holvey.



Edwards' office said the senator is introducing an amendment to scale back the statewide ban to strictly the Willamette Valley.



A second bill sponsored by Gelser, House Bill 2427, prohibits growing canola within the Willamette Valley.



In 2012, Oregon produced 15.2 million pounds of canola on just under 7,000 acres, with almost all of the production in Eastern Oregon.



The Oregon Department of Agriculture prohibits canola production in a three-county area in Central Oregon, a section of Northeast Oregon, a three-mile strip along the Oregon-Idaho border in Malheur County, and nearly all of the Willamette Valley.



The state recently proposed opening some sections of the Willamette Valley to its production.



-- Mitch Lies



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