Willamette Valley farmers will be banned from nearly all canola cultivation for five years, under a bill that’s awaiting a signature from Governor Kitzhaber.
Supporters of the bill say it will protect Oregon’s high-value specialty seed industry, by shielding those crops from cross-pollination, diseases and insects.
But opponents argued that farmers — not lawmakers — should be the ones to decide which crops they want to grow.
The Capital Press reports that the bill allows minimal canola production on the far outskirts of the valley.
In the heart of the valley, though, production is limited to 500 acres per year, and then only for research purposes, until 2018.
Specialty seed growers raise vegetables, including radishes, cauliflowers and broccoli for seeds, which are then used by farmers worldwide.