The Northern Plains of North Dakota and Minnesota currently account for about 90 percent of roughly 1.5 million canola acres planted in the United States. However, improvements in winter canola varieties have spurred production in the southern Great Plains centered in Oklahoma, where 80,000 acres were planted for the 2009-10 crop year. Interest also continues to grow in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and south, which each have research hubs at universities. With continued strong demand for canola oil due to its favorable profile as a both a cooking oil and biodiesel feedstock, canola acreage is expected to increase in all U.S. regions in the coming years. More than 200,000 acres of winter canola are estimated to have been planted in the Great Plains for the 2011-12 crop year.