One of the commodities that has started to expand greatly in the Northwest is canola. Throughout 2018 and 2019, the four states that make up the Pacific Northwest Canola Association, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, reported year over year acreage expansion. Karen Sowers, Executive Director of the PNWCA, expects that interest to continue into this year.
“Whether it’s weed control or breaking disease cycles, there’s a myriad of benefits for canola, not to paint a rosy picture, but it is an option for a crop with your local markets.”
Sowers noted most of the canola grown here in the Nortwhest stays in the region either as oil or meal. And most that travels stays within the U.S. But, Sowers noted, that does not mean the canola industry has not been impacted by the 18 month long trade war. She said prices follow that of soybeans.
“So it did depress the prices a little bit, in the last year or two, with the trade wars, there’s no doubt about that. The northern tier of states, North Dakota, and even Montana seems to be hit a little harder with their proximity to Canada. But, yeah, definitely, it’s an overall farm picture when you’re talking about the trade war, it’s not just canola. But canola, has stayed more steady particularly in the PNW then some of the other commodities,” Sowers continued.
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