PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is pressing ahead with its controversial plan to allow canola production in the Willamette Valley.
The agency now proposes sharply limiting the amount that can be grown at 2,500 acres per year.
Canola has been banned from the Willamette Valley for years, but clean-energy advocates and some farmers are eager to expand growth of the plant.
Canola seeds can be pressed for oil to use in renewable fuels and some grass-seed farmers see it as a useful rotational crop to interrupt disease and pest cycles.
But canola fields also bring new pests and can cross-pollinate with sensitive plants that produce organic vegetable seeds.
The latest plan is outlined in administrative rules filed last week. The agency will take public comments until Jan. 25.
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