Locus Focus on 11/26/12
KEEPING CANOLA OUT OF THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Oregon's Willamette Valley is an ecological gem and one of the few places left in the world where quality specialty seeds can be grown. One reason why specialty crop seeds thrive in the valley is that there is very little canola grown here. But that could now change as the Oregon Department of Agriculture considers new rules that would loosen restrictions on where canola could be grown in the Valley. Canola, a trade name for rapeseed, is actually an invasive weed that persists in fields where it has been previously grown and is nearly impossible to eradicate. Plus most of the rapeseed grown in North America is now genetically modified. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Leah Rodgers, field director for Friends of Family Farmers, about why the potential introduction of canola into the Willamette Valley has so many small farmers worried.
Friends of Family Farmers is a grassroots organization promoting policies that benefit family farms and sustainable agriculture, based in Molalla, Oregon. Through education, advocacy and community organizing, Friends of Family Farmers supports socially and environmentally responsible family-scale agriculture and citizens working to shape health rural and urban communities.