Camelina meal approved as feed for egg-laying hens in Canada

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The Saskatoon-based Smart Earth Seeds has received federal approval to offer the Omega-3 rich camelina meal as a feed ingredient for egg-laying hens.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved the inclusion of 10 per cent camelina cake in feed for egg-laying hens. The federal agency had earlier approved cold-pressed, non-solvent extracted camelina meal for broiler chickens at up to 12 per cent inclusion. Another application is going forward to approve the inclusion of Camelina in dairy cattle rations.

“This is another major step for Camelina production in Canada,” said Jack Grushcow, founder and CEO of Smart Earth Seeds in a release.

“This latest approval makes the crop production economics for camelina even more attractive. The more local markets we can develop for camelina meal the greater the opportunity to process locally and provide regional economic development.”

Smart Earth Seeds has been working to develop camelina as a novel rotational oilseed crop in Western Canada.

It’s application received support from the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Livestock Research and Extension Branch and the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Animal and Poultry Science.

“This is good news for Canadian poultry producers, this approval ensures Canadian producers can benefit from access to a high quality protein that also contains significant quantities of Omega-3 oil,” said Rex Newkirk, chair in feed processing technology at the University of Saskatchewan in a release.

“Increasing Camelina cake inclusions in layers’ feed resulted in a dose-related increase in polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids and a superior balance of Omega-3:Omega-6 fatty acids in table eggs,” said Matt Oryschak and Eduardo Beltranena, who led the layer trials at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

Camelina is seen as a diversifying oilseed crop that offers greater disease and drought tolerance. It can be grown with low inputs on marginal land while providing valuable crop rotation benefits.

Camelina cake is rich in protein, fibre and alpha-linolenic acid.

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