Canola tonnage poised to top industry’s 2015 target

Described as an ambitious plan on its release, the Canola Council of Canada’s 2007 initiative “Growing Great 2015,” to see Canada produce 15 million tonnes of canola per year by 2015, may now have come in ahead of time.

“Farmers across Canada work hard and take risks in order to bring in a crop, and when they succeed as they have this year, that’s cause for celebration,” council president Patti Miller said in a release Friday. “And hats off to Canada’s canola growers who broke all previous production records by a long shot.”

The council’s statement responds to Statistics Canada’s release Friday of its September estimates for production of principal field crops.

StatsCan’s survey found, despite a lower harvested area in 2013 compared to 2012, Canadian canola growers expect an overall 15.9 per cent increase in canola production, to 16 million tonnes — which would translate to a 31.3 per cent rise in yield to 36.9 bushels per acre.

Saskatchewan’s canola production alone is expected to rise 24.2 per cent this year to a record 8.1 million tonnes, StatsCan reported, based on an average yield forecast of 35.2 bu./ac., up from 25.1 bushels in 2012, on harvested area of 10.1 million acres, down 11.4 per cent.

Manitoba, meanwhile, expects a 24.5 per cent production increase to 2.6 million tonnes, on a 44.8 per cent gain in average yield. Alberta’s canola production is expected to rise to 5.2 million tonnes, up 2.3 per cent from 2012, StatsCan said.

The 2007 “Growing Great 2015” plan set industry targets not only for production but for seed exports and domestic crushing (7.5 million tonnes each), as well as a 45 per cent average oil content from seed and a 10 per cent increase in energy content (kcals/kg) for canola meal.

To get there, the council said at the time, the industry was to “focus on those markets for which canola’s primary attributes — high oil yield and low saturated fat — will create superior value and benefit human and environmental health.”

The Canola Council’s target of 15 million tonnes of production was based on Canada’s 2006 canola production of nine million tonnes.

“Our industry in 2007 set a target of 15 million tonnes of sustainable canola production by 2015 and we have blown past that target two years early,” council chairman Terry Youzwa, a producer at Nipawin, Sask., said in Friday’s release.

That said, he noted the 2015 industry target of 15 million tonnes applies both to production and demand.

“About 85 per cent of our production is bound for export markets and the Canola Council has worked very diligently to ensure that the markets are there,” he said. — Network

Related story:
Record-large Canadian crops come as no surprise, Oct. 4, 2013


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