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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326271

Research Project: Replacement of Petroleum Products Utilizing Off-Season Rotational Crops

Location: Bio-oils Research

Title: Irrigation response and water productivity of deficit to fully irrigated spring camelina

item HERGERT, GARY - University Of Nebraska
item MARGHEIM, JAMES - University Of Nebraska
item PAVLISTA, ALEXANDER - University Of Nebraska
item MARTIN, DERREL - University Of Nebraska
item Isbell, Terry
item SUPALLA, RAYMOND - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Agricultural Water Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2016
Publication Date: 7/8/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Hergert, G.W., Margheim, J.F., Pavlista, A.D., Martin, D.L., Isbell, T.A., Supalla, R.J. 2016. Irrigation response and water productivity of deficit to fully irrigated spring camelina. Agricultural Water Management. 177:46-53.

Interpretive Summary: Camelina was investigated for oilseed production in the High Plains under varying irrigation levels with respect to its oil yield performance. Camelina yields ranged from 428kg/ha to 2,867kg/ha under no irrigation up to 30cm irrigation, respectively. Some changes in the fatty acid composition were also observed depending on the level of drought stress the plant was grown under. These results demonstrate that camelina could be a successful rotation crop in Western Nebraska supplying oil suitable for both edible and fuel applications.

Technical Abstract: Camelina [Camelina sativa L. Crantz] is an oil seed crop that could be adapted to the northern High Plains of the USA as a biofuel crop. Decreased ground water allocations in Nebraska necessitated determining the impact of limited irrigation on camelina. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of a range of irrigation levels on camelina yield, oil content, soil water changes and water productivity. The study was conducted for four growing seasons at two locations in western Nebraska. One site had a sandy soil whereas the other was a silt loam. Camelina was planted in early to mid-April. Cumulative irrigation treatments were 0, 100, 200, and 300 mm with the highest rate adjusted to be non-evapotranspiration (ET) limiting. Camelina extracted soil water from 0.9 to 1 m depths which was shallower than canola. It showed significant response to irrigation during dry years but no response in above-average precipitation years. A water use efficiency of 7.0 kg/mm-1 with 125 mm ETc required to produce the first unit of seed yield was shown. Camelina seed yield ranged from 428 to 2867 kg/ha-1 with 187 and 536 mm of cumulative ET. In 2007 and 2008 camelina exhibited peak values in water consumed at 9-10 weeks after planting. Deficit irrigation reduced ET and yield plus accelerated maturity in those years. Oil content was increased by irrigation during drier years with no effect with high growing season precipitation. Oil content ranged from 25 to 50% depending on year, irrigation level and disease. Downy mildew significantly reduced oil content during 2009. Deficit irrigated camelina could be an alternative biofuel crop for this region but further genetic improvement would enhance its competiveness with spring canola.