While camelina has really taken root as a feedstock in the Western United States (see my post from July 22, 2008), it’s starting to make some inroads back east.
This radio story from the USDA says that some farmers in Pennsylvania started growing camelina last fall and are expanding their efforts this year:
Joel Hunter is a Penn State University Cooperative Extension Educator. “This year we tried it in kind of a big way about, somewhere between 300 and 400 acres.”
The story goes on to say that the goal is to sell the camelina oil to the Lake Erie Biofuels plant in Erie, PA.
“Camelina seed has about 40 percent oil. So we’re looking at something like two barrels of oil per acre.”
USDA says that the Penn State Cooperative Extension bought 2,000 pounds of camelina seed for farmers to grow, while really going out on a limb and might not even be able to get grants to cover the school’s costs. But Hunter thinks it is worth it if it gets the camelina effort off the ground in that area.