Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Willamette Valley Canola Testimony Example

Canola Testimony - an example for any farmers or gardeners wondering what they should write (Use this link HERE for information on how and where to send testimony before November 2nd. Individuals as well as farmers can send testimony.)

My name is Sharol Tilgner - I am an organic farmer.

I am contacting you regarding my farm, Wise Acres LLC in Pleasant Hill Oregon. 84537 Proden Lane, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455  

My farm is 25 acres. My family has been farming in Oregon for 4 generations.

I am testifying in relation to the possible increase of the canola boundaries in the Willamette Valley. I am against any increase in the boundaries here in the valley.  In fact, if anything I would like to see all canola banned in the Willamette Valley period.

This is why:
I grow a variety of crops including many in the brassica family. I am concerned about cross pollination from canola onto my brassica plants. I collect my own seed each year for replanting the next year. I find that by doing this over the many years, I have been able to create plants that are well adapted to my specific soil, weather, and pests. If my plants are cross pollinated by canola I will no longer be able to collect this high quality seed that makes such wonderful plants which have genetically been picked by nature over the years for resistance to local pests and good growth and production for my locality. I will have to rely on market seed which I find is no where near as good. I  have to work harder taking care of plants when they are grown from market seed and can not get as high a quality of product from them. Additionally, I only buy organic seed which limits my ability of where I can purchase seed. For these reasons it is necessary for me to grow and use my own seed. I will not be able to use my seed if it is contaminated by canola.

Additionally, I am concerned about the increase in pests that monocropping canola will create in this environment. Currently, no one is monocropping any brassica plants near me and I hope it stays that way. Allowing a tax subsidized plant to be grown in my area may increase the probability of that happening.

Additionally, I do not want another weeds to have to deal with. Canola has been seen in the irrigation ditches and along highways in areas where it is grown. It does not stay on the farm that grows it. I understand from farmers living in areas where canola is grown as a monocrop that it becomes quite a pesty weed and will necessitate more weed extraction time on my farm. Being organic means I have to put more time and money into physically removing the canola from my land. This is an unpleasant idea for me.

Lastly, I am averse to this plant being grown here as 96% of the seed is genetically modified. All genetically modified crops that can contaminate organic farmers crops are a threat to us. They will contaminate our farms and put organic farmers out of business in the Willamette Valley.

Please do not extend the canola boundary's. I do not want canola anywhere near my farm.

Sharol Tilgner

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