Oilseeds are crops that may provide avenues for diversification on Vermont farms. They include sunflower, canola, soybean, flax, and hemp. Oil extracted from these crops can be used for on-farm fuel production or culinary uses, while the leftover meal can be used as a high protein livestock feed or soil amendment to boost fertility.
An oil press is a machine that extrudes the oil from the crop by separating it from the meal. There are several types of small-scale oil presses that vary in size, and some offer more flexibility than others. Check out this factsheet on Oilseed Oil Presses or this YouTube video on small-scale oil presses to learn more.
Pressing seed for oil is an activity that begins as the farm season slows down and the weather cools at Borderview Research Farm. The video below shows our oil press in action, with farm owner Roger Rainville and two UVM Extension NWCS employees processing soybeans:
The UVM Extension NWCS team’s oilseed program aims to develop best practices for oilseed production under Vermont’s growing conditions. Check out our 2021 Research Reports for the most up-to-date results, including the Conventional Soybean Variety Trial, the Conventional Soybean Performance Trials Summary, the Organic Soybean Variety Trial, and the Organic Soybean Performance Trials Summary.