USDA Offers Insurance to Mont., N.D. Farmers to Grow Oilseed Crop for Biofuel

The camelina crop can be converted into renewable energy, possibly bringing new jobs to rural America. But until now, farmers lacked the incentive and insurance to grow it.
by , | December 12, 2011 AT 4:30 PM

Most American farmers grow only what's guaranteed to make them money. With wheat and corn hitting record-high prices this year, farmers may be more likely to grow those crops instead of camelina, a crop that can be made into biofuels for jets. In Montana, camelina production has actually been on the decline in recent years, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The U.S.  Department of Agriculture is hoping to change that by offering camelina insurance to farmers. This pilot, offered to farmers in select Montana and North Dakota counties, will cover crop losses caused by extreme weather, natural disasters, wildlife, and insect and plant disease. If successful, the program could jumpstart a new green energy market in rural areas.