Currently U.S and international markets show a large demand for vegetable oil. The driving forces include recent high petroleum prices, demand for healthy (low saturated fat) cooking oils, and the ever-increasing interest in on-farm biodiesel production.

Whether oilseed crops are used for bio-diesel production, healthy cooking oil choices, or other industrial and food uses, canola and other oilseed crops have unique and rapidly expanding market opportunities. These opportunities are prompting a strong interest from farmers to learn more about producing and market opportunities for these oilseeds.

To address many of these questions, Texas AgriLife Extension Service will host a meeting on the feasibility, marketing, and agronomics of numerous oilseed crops for Texas, including canola, sunflower, safflower, sesame, castor, and other potential crops. On-farm bio-diesel production will be discussed and an operating mobile biodiesel unit will be demonstrated.

The mobile biodiesel unit is fully self contained including an oil-seed press (extruder) and a biodiesel unit (trans esterificaiton process). The biodiesel unit can use virgin vegetable oil (from the press) or used cooking oil. Canola seed crushing, oil extrusion, and meal production will be observed and we will be making biodiesel.

This oilseed meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, at the Plainview Convention Center/Plainview Country Club, 2902 West 4th Street (about 1/2 mile east of I-27 on U.S. 70, south on Ennis to 4th Street, then east). Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. and the meeting will conclude by 4:00 p.m. Topics to be covered include: Cost of Production, Market Outlook, Economic Considerations, Markets and Delivery Points, crop production of canola, sunflower, safflower, sesame, and castor. For further information contact the Hale Co. Extension office, (806) 291-5267, or the Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Center, Lubbock, (806) 746-6101, ext. 4806, or ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu.

Anyone interested in producing oilseed crops, marketing oilseed crops, or on-farm fuel production is encouraged to participate in this meeting. There will be no fee for the meeting and a noon meal is being sponsored by Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, which operates oilseed crushing facilities in Oklahoma City.

Pesticide applicators may earn 2.0 CEUs for participation. To reserve your lunch please RSVP by Monday, Dec. 8th.