The growth of Canola has been on the rise for quite some time, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon.
Canola oil consumption has more than doubled in North America in the past decade, and it is now the second most widely used oil in foodservice and food manufacturing. Each year, Canadian farmers plant more than 20 million acres of canola seeds; in the U.S., farmers plant more than 1 million acres.
But the industry will be the first one to admit the growth canola has seen in the past few decades hasn’t been – and won’t be – just about reaching the industry’s own potential. As a significant contributor of economic activity and jobs across the value chain, it’s about taking care of families and communities. As a product with a healthier nutrition profile, it’s about taking care of the health of consumers. And because the canola seed also produces a reliable supply of food for both humans and animals, it’s about meeting the growing demand for food and animal protein as the global population increases.
In order to sustain this growth, the canola industry stands ready to contribute in a thoughtful, responsible and sustainable way. One of its priorities for doing this is to increase yields through various techniques.
In 2014, the Canola Council of Canada announced a new strategic vision for the canola industry – to increase production from 40 to 52 bushels per acre by 2025. While plant breeding and increasing acreage have contributed to significant gains in canola yields in years past, further improved genetics, agronomy and best management practices will be the keys to foster further growth and success.
Building upon the success of herbicide tolerant and hybrid canola varieties, the team at Dow AgroSciences is taking genetics one step further. Research into how the dynamics of soil zones, disease and insect pressure and weather interact with plant genetics will inform the breeding of even more successful varieties. We anticipate new understandings about plant establishment, seed mortality and seed placement to increase yields along with enhanced soil fertility.
Lessons from the field have also shown that intensive rotations, beyond the previously recommended 3- to 4- year rotation, can be managed sustainably and profitably. Finally, it is recognized that each farm operation is unique. In order to fully capitalize on new technology and to meet production goals, a collaboration of agronomists, advisors and scientists will work together to provide farmers with the right information for their situation when they need it.
At Omega-9 Oils, we believe canola has and will continue to make a positive impact on people and the planet through its economic contributions, healthier nutrition profile, superior functionality and reliability. But the story doesn’t stop at the farm. Visit our Farm to Fork tour to learn more about how canola makes its way from the field to grocery store shelves.