Canola acreage in Washington, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has reached record levels this year, and interest from producers who have not ever grown the crop continues to increase as well. The PNW is the only canola production region in the U.S. without a canola association, so a concerted effort to form one began earlier this year.
The first major step towards the formation of the Pacific Northwest Canola Association (PNWCA) was achieved in July when a Certificate of Incorporation was received from the Washington Secretary of State. A steering committee comprised of canola producers, industry members, and university faculty has been working on bylaws and is now seeking nominations for producer members from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington for the board of directors. Financial support for completing the legal side of the association was secured from the U.S. Canola Association last year by a canola producer in the Willamette Valley.
Karen Sowers, the Extension Specialist with the WSU-WOCS project, has taken the lead on working through the process and reports the steering committee hopes to see the PNWCA become finalized by the end of the year. The Capital Press covered the PNWCA in a recent article titled, New Canola Association Gains Certification, Seeks Directors. Updates will be posted on the Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems website, and on the WSU Oilseeds Facebook page.