News that the 2013 canola harvest reached nearly 18 million tonnes is a sign that the industry is continuing to gain momentum, according the Canola Council of Canada (CCC).
“This is our second record-breaking canola crop in just three years,” said CCC President Patti Miller. “We’ve exceeded our previous record of 14.6 million tonnes by 23 per cent and we have every reason to believe this upward trend will continue.”
This was the first canola crop to surpass the industry target of 15 million tonnes – a goal the Canola Council was aiming to reach by 2015.
The industry also set a new record for average annual production over a three-year period. Production for 2011-2013 has averaged out to 15.48 million tonnes per year, compared to 13.76 million tonnes per year for 2010-2012.
Canola growers achieved a record-high yield of 40.0 bushels/acre in 2013, up more than 13 per cent from the previous high of 35.3 bushels/ acre set in 2009.
“While weather was certainly a factor, these high yields are also the product of genetic advances, improved agronomy and the hard work of 43,000 canola growers,” Miller said. “As technology and agronomy continue to advance, I’m sure our industry will be redefining expectations of what this crop can do.”
More than supply is expected to increase. Miller also predicted increased global demand as the world seeks the heart-healthy advantages of canola oil and the high-quality protein of canola meal. She pointed to two recent announcements that bode well for the demand in the huge U.S. market:
In mid-November, the U.S. Food and Drug Authority announced its intention to effectively eliminate artificial trans fats from the American food supply to improve public health. The move should create a larger U.S. demand for naturally stable oil sources like high-oleic canola, the ideal solution for restaurants and food manufacturers looking for readily available alternatives to partially hydrogenated oils.
As supply and demand continue to grow, canola will become an increasingly important force in the Canadian economy, which already derives $19.3 billion of annual benefit from canola production, processing, research and related activity.