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Development of Dryland Oilseed Production Systems in Northwestern Region of the USA

D. S. Long, F. L. Young, W. F. Schillinger, C. L. Reardon, J. D. Williams, B. L. Allen, W. L. Pan, D. J. Wysocki
BioEnergy research 2016 v.9 no.2 pp. 412-429
Brassica, arid lands, biofuels, cold, cold tolerance, crops, cultivars, drought tolerance, environmental factors, feedstocks, heat, heat stress, interspecific competition, oilseed crops, oilseeds, plant available water, planting date, production technology, seedbeds, seedlings, soil management, soil types, sowing, vigor, weeds, Northwestern United States
This report addresses the development of dryland oilseed crops to provide feedstock for production of biofuels in semi-arid portions of the northwestern USA. Bioenergy feedstocks derived from Brassica oilseed crops have been considered for production of hydrotreated renewable jet fuel, but crop growth and yields in the northwestern region are limited by a lack of plant available water. Based on a review of the scientific literature, several areas were identified where research could be directed to provide improvements. The current agronomic limitations for oilseed production are mainly due to seedling establishment under extreme heat, dry seedbeds at optimum planting times, survival under extreme cold, and interspecific competition with weeds. To improve emergence and stand establishment, future work should focus on developing soil management and seeding techniques that optimize plant available water, reduce heat stress, and provide a competitive advantage against weeds that are customized for specific crops, soil types, and soil and environmental conditions. Spring and winter cultivars are needed that offer increased seedling vigor, drought resistance, and cold tolerance.