PR - Dryland Camelina, A Systems Approach To On-farm Feed And Fuel: Preliminary Results (p204-213)
Recent interest in camelina production in the western United States has been generated by interest in establishing this oilseed as a rotational crop in a dry land system. Part of the interest lies in the ability to make biodiesel from the oil and use the meal as livestock feed. This paper uses a systems approach to size a production system for a single producer on-farm feeding and fuel system. A spreadsheet “Camelina Calculator” has been developed that estimates production costs for feed and fuel and can be adjusted for different yields and herd size from which estimates of profitability can be obtained.
The results show that in the eastern part of Wyoming, yields are not high enough to make this an economically viable prospect, primarily due to climatic conditions and the high cost of an oil seed press. Higher yields reported in Montana and perhaps some type of multiple ownership scheme for the press appear to be better alternatives. An interesting observation is that the cost avoided of feeding camelina meal instead of a corn/soybean ration provides the bulk of the savings in this system. The biodiesel production system itself, though apparently capable of producing a sufficient quantity and quality of biodiesel appears capital, labour and skill intensive for the individual producer.
Keywords: Camelina, oilseed, biodiesel, economics