Texas AgriLife Extension Service has scheduled three workshops in the coming weeks to help Texas farmers meet the new and growing demand for vegetable oils, according to an AgriLife Extension agent.

The first will be held Nov.13 in Corpus Christi, followed by a meeting Dec. 10 in Plainview and on Dec. 11 in Wichita Falls, said Jeffery Stapper, an AgriLife Extension agent in Nueces County.

“Two forces are driving the large demand for vegetable oil in the United States and abroad,” Stapper said. “One is high petroleum prices and the ever-increasing interest in on-farm diesel production. The other is the demand by consumers for healthy, low saturated fat cooking oils.”

Canola and other oilseed crops currently have unique and rapidly expanding market opportunities, prompting a strong interest from farmers to learn more about their producing and marketing, Stapper said.

“To address the many questions, AgriLife Extension will host a meeting on the feasibility, marketing and agronomics of numerous oil-seed crops for Texas, including canola, sunflower and sesame,” he said.

The first oilseed meeting will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi. The center is located at 10345 State Highway 44, just went of Corpus Christi International Airport.

The production of on-farm biodiesel will also be discussed, followed by the demonstration of a mobile biodiesel unit.

“Anyone interested in producing and/or marketing oilseed crops or producing on-farm fuels is encouraged to attend these meetings,” Stapper said. “But we’re encouraging those who want to attend to register as soon as possible so we can better prepare for what we expect will be a high turnout.”

To register, call the AgriLife Extension office in Nueces County at 361-767-5223. Admission is free and a noon meal will be provided by Producers Cooperative Oil Mill.

Two continuing education credits will be available for pesticide applicators who attend, Stapper said.