This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Packages of seed of the above plant having been distributed from the Patent Office, and having had numerous inquiries respecting its nature and use, we may state that it is cultivated for its seeds, which yield oil of a useful nature, either for purposes of illumination, lubricating machinery, or mixing with paints. The cake formed after extraction has also been found highly nutritious in the fattening of oxen and sheep.
It appears, from statements that have been made, that 10 .lbs. of seed are required to an acre of land,, which will produce, under favorable circumstances, 40 bushels. Eight bushels weighed 448 lbs., and gave 112 lbs. of oil, and 336 lbs. of cake. Thus it appears that an acre will produce 560 lbs. of oil, and 1,680 lbs. of oil-cake.
It will flourish on poor soils, unfit for ordinary grain crops, and stands drought well The seed is ripe as soon as the pods change from a green to a gold color, and should be cut before over matured. It may be worthy of trial; the illustration will give an idea of the plant, which is annual. It requires similar treatment to buckweat.