Camelina is used to produce bio-diesel, cooking oil and jet fuel. Planting rates vary from 6 to 12 lbs. per acre depending on soil type and geographical planting area. Camelina should be fertilized with a minimum of 50 units of Nitrogen to obtain the high end of the seed yields. Expected seed yields are between 500 and 2500 lbs per acre. Camelina seed contains approximately 39% oil. 20-21 lbs of Camelina seed will produce approximately 1 gallon of oil. Camelina has been much in the news of late, as a biofuels feedstock of strong promise, because of its position as one of the few “sustainable, affordable, reliable, available” feedstocks suitable for aviation biofuels.
Camelina (Camelina sativa (L)) is an old-world crop used primarily for oil. It can be grown under semi-arid conditions. Breeding efforts have resulted in very few improvements. It is a member of the Brassicaceae or mustard family and related to canola and cole crops. The seed is about 35% oil, and the oil is high in omega-3 fatty acid, which has been cited as having health benefits. Camelina meal can be fed to livestock, producing eggs and meat that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Interest in camelina is not only due to its high level of omega-3 fatty acids but because it is a renewable source of feedstock for biodiesel and advanced biofuels.
Camelina has a wide range of adaptability, fitting into many different cropping systems due to its short period of growth (70–90 days). Camelina seedlings can survive intense cold (into the teens) and can be planted before or after main cash crops in southern latitudes in either the spring or fall. Even though the crop has been grown for thousands of years, research related to production is limited and will develop as its value increases as a renewable energy crop. Many of the production practices being used are taken from related crops (mainly canola). In dry climates, camelina can be grown in fields lying fallow between other crops, allowing the fields to produce income and serving as a renewable energy and rotation crop.