Developing research information to evaluate camelina and canola in a livestock feeding system

Our project will conduct a nutritional analysis of the biodiesel byproduct, and complete an economic analysis using the camelina biodiesel byproduct as ruminant feed. The studies contained in this proposal address the 2012 BioAg priority areas: provide information that is critical in utilization of canola and camelina meals in ruminant diets and thereby promoting livestock health and well-being; and to expand the body of knowledge relevant to camelina meal with the goal of updating the FDA and American Feed Control Officials (AFCO) feed definition to include forage fed beef cattle which will ultimately provide for an expanding market for camelina meal.

Thirty-six pregnant beef heifers will be used to determine the feeding value of canola and camelina meals and to compare them to traditional protein supplements (i.e., alfalfa hay, soybean meal, and corn distiller’s grains). Growth and blood metabolites related to nutrition and health during the fall/winter supplementation period, and subsequent reproductive and calf performance will each be monitored for treatment effects.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 102
  • Project Status: Complete


  • Principal Investigator(s): Llewellyn, D.
  • Investigator(s): Fransen, S., Neibergs, S., Norberg, S.
  • Grant Amount: $19,650
  • 2012 Progress Report (PDF)




In cooperation with Dr. Shannon Neibergs and assistants, a protein supplement selection decision aid has been developed based on the chemical analysis of the oilseed meals that were included in this study, and will be submitted to the WSU Fast Track system for publication to assist livestock producers in selecting cost-effective protein supplements for their herds.

 Evaluating Camelina and Canola meals for livestock feeding systems
 Evaluating Camelina and Canola meals as protein supplements for beef heifers
 Chemical composition and in situ degradability of on-farm processed Canola and Camelina meals
 Beef cattle winter feed and protein supplement cost calculator

Publications (in preparation)
 Winter feed and protein supplement cost calculator (WSU Extension FastTrack)
 Chemical composition and in situ degradability of on-farm processed Canola and Camelina meals (Animal Feed Science and Technology)
 Comparison of basic and neutral detergent washes for microbial correction and correction for zero time particulate loss in predicting extent of degradation in in situ experiments (Animal Feed Science and Technology)
 Chemical treatment of oilseed meals to remove seed coat mucilage and enhance utilization by ruminants (working title; Animal Feed Science and Technology or Journal of Animal Science)

Potential additional publications (future)
 Pacific Northwest oilseed meals as protein supplements for ruminant diets (WSU Extension FastTrack)


Short-term: Education of livestock producers on the ability of on-farm processed and commercially processed camelina and canola meals to serve as protein supplements in cattle diets. Information on their relative feeding value compared to traditional supplements will be made available. In addition, education into the economics of camelina and canola meal use in cattle diets will be presented to producers.

Intermediate-term: Cattle producers adopt feeding practices using Camelina and Canola meals as protein supplements.

Long-term: Adoption of the use of camelina and canola meals in cattle diets has the potential to not only affect the producers’ profitability, but also may add value to the entire biofuel process. This may make it more attractive for farmers in the Pacific Northwest to include these oilseeds into their crop rotations with the added benefit of breaking crop disease cycles and increasing productivity and profitability. Biofuel processors may also increase profitability through an increased market for their byproduct meal.