Continuing in our Alternative Crop series, rape seed, a winter crop grown much like wheat is being contracted by Winston-Salem North Carolina’s Technology Crops International, and Jeff Riddle, Grower Relations Manager for Tech Crops talks about the benefits and uses of rape seed oil:
“We grow a rape see that is high in euristic acid, which is one of the fatty acids. That is used quite a bit in industrial applications.
Rape seed is a winter crop much like wheat. Where we see it in rotations for NC, is in place of winter wheat. The crop is typically planted, especially in the western part of the state as early as September 1. Going east you can go as late as about October 15. The crop is harvested a couple of days to about 5 days earlier than winter wheat. A lot of growers like that because they can get into their soybeans a little earlier.
There are a few reasons a producer would choose rape seed over wheat. The crop is in the same family as collards and mustards so it’s a very winter hearty crop. So where you might get a late frost on a wheat crop, that could kill or damage it, this crop is much more hearty and less susceptible to frost. Producers like it as an additional crop to put into their rotation that breaks up wheat and pest cycles.
We do contract with our growers to grow our crop. We know growers are going outside their comfort zone to try a new crop so we try to do our best to minimize growers risk. In our contracts we offer ‘full act of god’ coverage. All of our contracts are full production contracts where we buy every pound produced at that contract price. In addition, we never speculate.
We try to pay our growers a nice premium to the crop we are trying to replace. In this case growers receive a nice premium over wheat and that is to help them feel more comfortable in trying something new.”
Jeff Riddle Growers Relations Manager for Technology Crops International.
Check out Southern Farm Network’s series on alternative crops HERE.
Tomorrow, we’ll visit with Technology Crops’ Kathy Flores on the uses of rape seed oil.