Manitoba Trade and Investment
Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Grains & Oilseeds
The agricultural and climatic conditions unique to Manitoba make it one of the most productive Canola growing areas on the face of the earth.
The nutrient rich soil of the vast prairie landscape and Manitoba's long warm summer days provide ideal growing conditions for canola.As a result, Manitoba enjoys some of the highest canola yields in the world.
Rapeseed was introduced as an alternative crop for Manitoba producers during World War II when the oil was used as a lubricant.
The crop increased in significance in the early 1970s when research conducted at the University of Manitoba produced the first canola variety with oil suitable for human consumption and meal for livestock feed.
Today, canola has become an integral part of the Manitoba agricultural industry. In 2008, Manitoban producers seeded 3.1 million acres of canola, second only in seeded acres to wheat. This produced 113.6 million bushels equaling 20 percent of Canada's total canola crop production.
Canola seed, which contains approximately 42 percent oil, is also processed locally in Manitoba, where we have three canola processing facilities that have a combined crushing capacity of approximately 50 million bushels per year.
Contracts and options for canola and canola meal can be traded on the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange.
Due to our long history of exporting canola, Manitoba producers and processors have extensive experience in servicing foreign markets.
Manitoba producers export canola seed to countries such as Japan, Mexico, China, and U.S.
The local processing plants produce products which include bulk crude and refined oil, bulk vegetable oil, retail pack refined oil, hulls and screenings, which are shipped to various destinations across Canada and around the world. Manitoba also produces specialty oil canola such as high-erucic rapeseed (HEAR) under contract for industrial lubricants and high stability/high oleic canola (trademarked as “Natreon” sold by Dow AgroSciences and “Clear Valley” sold by Cargill Specialty Oils) under contract for the food processing sector.
Canola oil is used for the production of consumables such as margarine, shortenings and salad oil.
Both canola and rapeseed oil are also used in the production of inedible products such as cosmetics, industrial lubricants, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, plasticisers, suntan oil, and in the anti-static substance for paper and plastic wrap.
The Canadian livestock feed industry is also an important market for Manitoban crushers as canola meal is used in dairy, beef, swine and poultry rations.
The focus of significant research activity for the canola industry continues to improve the quality characteristics of canola seed, oil and meal.
The ongoing canola breeding efforts have emphasized quality, disease resistance and agronomic improvements.
Results of the research include increases in seed oil and protein levels, increasing seed yield, improved disease tolerance, earlier maturity, development of high stability oil profiles and the development of integrated methods for the control of insects and diseases.
Biotechnology and genetic engineering also add to the bright future of canola as they assist in the identification and incorporation of specific plant genes into canola lines to address issues such as herbicide and insect resistance.
These technological adaptations enable growers to realize a higher yield per acre with some of the strongest canola in the world.
Mila Ruiz Turiaf
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Manitoba Trade & Investment