Researchers discuss new aviation fuel market for camelina


Capital Press

Dryland farmers will learn about the latest crop technology for their operations in Lind, Wash., next week.

The 94th annual Lind Field Day takes place June 17 at Washington State University's Lind Dryland Research Station. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.

The field day is designed to showcase activities at the station, said Washington State University professor and research agronomist Bill Schillinger.

The station's focus is primarily dryland farming, although a new irrigated cropping systems project will begin this year, Schillinger said.

Schillinger expects much interest to focus on two new deep furrow drill packer prototypes, designed to help farmers seed through large amounts of residue when using conservation tillage methods.

The event also includes updates on the university's winter, spring and club wheat breeding programs, combined with an overview of the top varieties.

Researchers Kulvinder Gill and Amita Mohan will speak about a project to make winter wheat seedlings emerge more quickly from deep planting depths.

Farmers "need winter wheat varieties that have the capability of coming through that tillage mulch layer to reach the surface," Schillinger said. "We're trying to identify ones that can come up really fast and vigorously, and then incorporate those (emergence genes) into existing varieties."

Gill and Mohan will deliver their presentation in front of what Schillinger called the world's winter wheat collection, consisting of 690 varieties.

Schillinger and WSU crop and soil scientist Bill Pan will also present their project about camelina as a dryland oilseed crop. With the airline industry expressing interest in camelina-based aviation fuel to reduce carbon emissions, there could be an almost unlimited demand for camelina, Schillinger said.

"Now we just need to figure out how to grow it," he said.

There is no cost to attend the Lind Field Day, which is open to the public.

For more information, contact Schillinger at or 509-235-1933.

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