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Morgan typically grows spring canola because his farm near Rosalia in Whitman County gets enough moisture to produce 1,500 to 1,600 pounds per acre. Winter canola, meanwhile, often will bring in twice that.

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Canola plants, which are related to mustard, Brussels sprouts and turnips, stand 3 to 5 feet tall. Its pods hold the seeds that are crushed for the oil, which then is used for cooking and biodiesel.

Terry Morgan, president of the Washington Canola Commission, grows 100 to 300 acres a Adidas Red Hoodies

Similar to wheat, there are winter and spring canola crops. Winter canola is planted from late July to early August and is harvested in June or July, while spring canola is planted in April and is harvested in late August or early September.

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Curtis Hennings near Ritzville started growing canola in the early '80s as a rotation crop, though now it is his main focus.

the Canadian prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are by far the world's largest growers of canola, the United States has become a serious player in recent decades.

"It really makes the soil mellow," he said with a smile.

´╗┐Columbia Basin farmers find canola a profitable crop

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"Both are aggressively trying to get acres," Hennings said. "And they're paying well."

spur the growth of Washington canola. He said the next closest processor is in Lethbridge, Alberta, so having another facility in the Columbia Basin should spark greater interest.

RITZVILLE, Wash. One of the prettiest crops in the Columbia Basin could become one of its fastest growing, thanks to good prices and a new processing Nike Vapormax Flyknit Pure Platinum plant.

year, rotating it with barley.

Hennings hopes the Warden plant will continue to Adidas Tracksuit Womens Burgundy

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Nationally, canola farmers got about 26 cents per pound last year, but Hennings said the going rate in Washington right now is 30 cents a pound.

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A processing plant in Odessa in Lincoln County crushes and converts Washington canola into biodiesel. Hennings and Morgan said a new processing plant is being built in Warden in Grant County, which reportedly will produce food grade oil.

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Morgan said another byproduct is meal from the crushed seeds. It contains 30 percent protein, which is lower than soy, and he uses it as a feed supplement for his pigs.

It has grown in popularity in recent decades because it's considered more nutritionally balanced than other oils. Canola Association says it is lower in saturated fat than any other culinary oil, higher in monounsaturated fat, high in omega 3 and free of transfat and cholesterol.

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Canola's deep root system helps moisture go deeper into the ground, Hennings explained.

North Dakota is growing 1.3 million acres this year, followed by Oklahoma with 150,000 acres.

In the '60s, Canadian scientists developed canola from rapeseed. The canola name comes from "Canadian oil, low acid."

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