Canola is a harmful crop that should not be grown in the Willamette valley.

  • By: Rio Davidson
  • Target: The Oregon Department of Agriculture

Are you a farmer that produces Brassica spp. seed crops? Are you a farmer or gardener who purchases seeds grown locally in the Willamette Valley? Are you a consumer who puts an emphasis on eating local, organically grown vegetables? Do you appreciate and revere the Willamette Valley for its unique ecological aptitude? Are you concerned about contamination from genetically modified crops? Are you appalled at the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s willingness to risk several high value vegetable and seed production industries by allowing canola production in Willamette Valley?

The Willamette Valley is the heart of Oregon's lucrative specialty seed, fresh market vegetable, clover, and organic industries.  It is recognized for having a unique climate which allows for these industries to thrive. The Willamette Valley should be preserved and protected for these special purposes. Allowing canola production in what is currently a protected district would undermine this world renowned resource, the Valley’s economically important seed production industry, and large network of vegetable growers as well as our local food supply. Canola can be, and is, grown in most of the rest of Oregon.  Let’s keep it that way.

ODA should maintain the strongest possible protections for the Willamette Valley. Research from Oregon State University has demonstrated the risk of significant conflicts between existing specialty seed production and new canola planting on issues ranging from cross-contamination of high-value, pure seed strains to the introduction of hard-to-eradicate pests and plant diseases. To date, ODA has conducted no research that demonstrates the need for, or answers significant questions about, major shifts in its existing prohibitions on canola production in the Willamette Valley protected area. It is my belief that canola should continue to be banned from the Willamette Valley and the current canola rule be left in place, in full.

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