TAKE ACTION Protect Seed Integrity in the Willamette Valley

Oregonians take note: A fast-tracked decision by the Oregon Department of Agriculture will allow canola production in the Willamette Valley, where, up until recently, there has been a canola exclusion zone to protect the integrity of seed crop relatives. OSA has a long-standing position in support of such exclusions.

Last week, the Department released a press release informing the public that it will grant a temporary rule to allow canola production. A temporary rule means the agency doesn’t have to collect public comments. The zone will be changed to allow canola (including genetically engineered canola) to be grown in the valley unchecked and with disregard to existing seed pinning map isolation guidelines.

Please make a call to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, especially if this decision impacts the integrity of your seed production and/or business.

ODA phone number: (503) 986-4552
ODA Director Katy Coba: KCoba@oda.state.or.us

The Willamette Valley is one of the best places in the world for growing and supplying specialty seed and maintaining seed diversity, including for brassicas. Canola is a brassica that easily cross-pollinates with other brassicas. Oregon State University has conducted research (opens PDF) proving that canola will cross-pollinate with many different crops, including turnips, broccoli raab, some kales, rutabaga, and possibly radish and broccoli.

More background on the issue and details on this decision can be found here.

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