A member of the mustard family, canola is characterized by its many clusters of bright yellow flowers and very leafy stalks. The flowers produce small seeds, roughly the size of a poppy seed, from which canola oil is extracted. Although relatively well adapted to the Montana climate, canola requires more water than most places in the state receive, and so it is usually irrigated.
The seeds are crushed to make canola oil. Canola oil is considered a very healthy cooking oil and is the third most popular vegetable oil. The oil is also widely used as a biodiesel and bio-lubricant, as well as in many cosmetic products. Once the oil is extracted, canola meal is used as livestock feed.