China: Update on Canola Seed Market Access

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Alberta Canola continues to work on behalf of growers through the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) on the challenges that persist for canola seed exports to China. Chinese buyers remain unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed, and the licenses of two companies (Richardson and Viterra) to export canola seed to China have been suspended. Canola oil and meal are not subject to the same challenges as canola seed.

The CCC is working closely with the government of Canada to find science-based solutions and resume stable trade as quickly as possible. The Government of Canada has acted quickly, and is engaged at the most senior levels to resolve the issue. This has included numerous interactions between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and their Chinese counterpart to resolve quality concerns that have been raised, including a request for a high-level mission to intensify science-based discussions. Technical discussions with China are required to resolve technical concerns.

Since March 1st, the CCC has met with the prime minister, the foreign affairs minister, the trade minister, the federal agriculture minister as well as contact with both the Saskatchewan and Manitoba agriculture ministers, emphasizing the importance of resolving the issue for the whole Canadian value chain, including farmers, and how this affects all Canadians.

We are confident in the quality of Canadian canola. Our canola consistently meets the requirements of countries around the world. We will continue our efforts to focus attention in Ottawa on resolving this issue as quickly as possible.

Source: Canola Council of Canada

CCC releases new seed cost feature for the Canola Calculator

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The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has released a new seed cost feature for the Canola Calculator to help canola growers set seeding rates that balance agronomy and economics. Improvements in seeding and plant establishment are important to the industry’s strategic plan to sustainably and profitably increase average canola yields.

“The original tools at canolacalculator.ca helped growers improve plant establishment and profits by setting seeding rates and plant density targets that align with seed survival, seed size and risk factors such as frost and insect damage,” says Autumn Barnes, agronomy specialist and stand establishment lead with the CCC.

The new updates add seed cost to the equation. As growers enter different scenarios in the Seeding Rate & Seed Cost Calculator, they can see the economic impact of factors such as seed size, percent emergence and target plant density.

“The goal is to help growers and their advisors make more refined seeding decisions rather than defaulting to 5 lb./ac, regardless of seed size or field conditions,” says Barnes.

The CCC recommends a target plant density of 5-8 plants/ft2 (50-80 plants/m2). Growers can use the target density calculator to determine where in that range they want their individual fields to be, and then measure the economic impact of that density. Yield potential is known to decline with stands of four plants per square foot or less, and extra plants provide some buffer for in-season plant losses, optimum maturity and competition with weeds.

The new seed cost feature of the Canola Calculator was coordinated by the CCC, with funding provided by Alberta Canola, SaskCanola and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association.

In addition to the Canola Calculator, growers, agronomists and industry members are encouraged to visit CanolaEncyclopedia.ca for a comprehensive resource of best management practices based on the latest research findings. In the past, canola growers were advised to target plant densities of 7-10 plants/ft2 however emerging analysis indicates that plant densities of modern hybrid varieties are optimized at 5-8 plants/ft2. Recent updates to the plant establishment section include these new plant density recommendations and information on seeding rates.

Source: The Canola Council of Canada

Canola Council of Canada: Challenges persist for canola seed exports to China

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The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is providing an update on market access challenges affecting all canola seed exports to China.

While there was some initial optimism that Chinese concerns with canola trade could be resolved quickly, technical discussions to date have not indicated an immediate resolution is possible. Canola seed exporters report that Chinese importers are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed at this time.

“We’re disappointed that differing viewpoints cannot be resolved quickly,” says Jim Everson, president of the CCC. “Under the circumstances, Canadian canola seed exporters who normally ship to China have no alternative but to supply customers in other countries who value high quality Canadian canola.”

China has been a major market for Canadian canola, accounting for approximately 40% of all canola seed, oil and meal exports. Canola seed exports to China were worth $2.7 billion in 2018. Demand has been very strong until recent disruptions.

“Canadian ministers and government officials have responded quickly to Chinese concerns, however, technical discussions are unlikely to lead to an immediate resolution,” says Everson. “We urge the Government of Canada to continue to intensify efforts to resolve the situation.”

The Canadian canola industry makes every effort to meet the requirements of customers and their governments around the world. From seed developers, growers, processors and exporters, all segments of the value chain coordinate to ensure consistent and high quality canola.

“Canadian canola is of the highest quality because of our world-class quality assurance systems,” says Everson. “We have a long-standing history of delivering on quality and reliability. We will continue to provide our customers with high quality canola and promote stable trade based on science.”

The Canola Council of Canada is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, processors, life science companies and exporters. Keep it Coming 2025 is the strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success –  achieving 52 bushels per acre to meet global market demand of 26 million metric tonnes by the year 2025.

China has Stopped Buying all Canadian Canola Seed

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Trade tensions with China concerning Canadian canola seed just escalated.

Canola seed exporters report that Chinese importers are unwilling to purchase Canadian canola seed at this time, the Canola Council of Canada says. The news comes just weeks after China announced it had revoked the sales licence for canola supplier Richardson International. China said the move was related to pests and disease detected in the crop, although no evidence was presented showing Canadian canola has phytosanitary issues.

“We’re disappointed that differing viewpoints cannot be resolved quickly,” says Jim Everson, president of the CCC. “Under the circumstances, Canadian canola seed exporters who normally ship to China have no alternative but to supply customers in other countries who value high-quality Canadian canola.”

China has been a major market for Canadian canola, accounting for approximately 40% of all canola seed, oil and meal exports. Canola seed exports to China were worth $2.7 billion in 2018. Demand has been very strong until recent disruptions.

“Canadian ministers and government officials have responded quickly to Chinese concerns, however, technical discussions are unlikely to lead to an immediate resolution,” says Everson. “We urge the Government of Canada to continue to intensify efforts to resolve the situation.”

The Canadian canola industry makes every effort to meet the requirements of customers and their governments around the world, the Canola Council notes. From seed developers, growers, processors and exporters, all segments of the value chain coordinate to ensure consistent and high-quality canola.

“Canadian canola is of the highest quality because of our world-class quality assurance systems,” says Everson. “We have a long-standing history of delivering on quality and reliability. We will continue to provide our customers with high quality canola and promote stable trade based on science.”

CCGA Launches 2019 Cash Advance Program With Interest Rate Savings For Farmers

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Starting March 5, farmers wanting to get a jump start on their spring cash advance can submit their 2019 Advance Payments Program application form to Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA). New this year, farmers who take out an interest-bearing advance will benefit from a reduced interest rate below prime. CCGA has also expanded its advance offering with four new organic grains including wheat, oats, peas and flax.

“Farmers anxious to complete their advance application before seeding have been contacting us,” says Rick White, CEO of CCGA. “Having our application form ready well in advance of the April 1st program start date is just one way our team is enhancing cash advance services for Western Canadian farmers.”

In the past two years, CCGA has implemented several important changes to its cash advance services, and in 2019, the organization is taking another step to create even more value for farmers. “We are passing on the benefits from our operational efficiencies directly back to farmers who use the program,” says White. “Beginning this April, farmers who have an interest-bearing advance with CCGA, will benefit from an interest rate of prime minus 0.5%.”

Through CCGA, farmers can access advances on nearly 50 field crop and livestock commodities. Farmers can apply for a cash advance of up to $100,000 interest-free and an additional $300,000 at prime less 0.5%. Combined, that amounts to $400,000 at a blended interest rate well below prime and considerable borrowing cost savings.

CCGA has implemented several changes that directly benefit farmers who use the program. “Last spring, we reduced the program administration fee, and in September we launched a new online account system that was designed with direct input from our customers,” says Dave Gallant, Director of Finance and Operations at CCGA.

“By applying in March, farmers can have their advance processed during our pre-application period, which means their advance could be approved and advance funds available to them early in April,” says Gallant. “Our first advances will be issued to farmers on Monday, April 1st.”

Farmers wanting to apply for a cash advance are encouraged to call CCGA’s Winnipeg office at 1-866-745-2256 to apply over the telephone. “Our experienced team make it easy for new customers to apply,” says Gallant. Farmers can also download an application form at CCGA’s website or existing customers can soon use the new online application system directly accessible from their online account.

For farmers who have short-term financing needs, CCGA will continue processing applications for the 2018-19 cash advance program through March. The final date CCGA can issue an advance under the current program is March 31, 2019.

CCGA represents canola farmers on national and international issues, policies and programs that impact farm profitability, and has been administrator of the Government of Canada’s Advance Payments Program since 1984.

Alberta Canola Producers 2019 Board of Directors

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BACK ROW: Ian Chitwood, Roger Chevraux, Kevin Serfas, Wayne Schneider, Cale Staden, Dan Doll FRONT ROW: Denis Guindon, Andre Harpe, John Guelly, John Mayko, Mike Ammeter

The 29th Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission was held January 29 at the FarmTech Conference in Edmonton. Following the Annual General Meeting, the Board elected John Guelly from Westlock as the new Chair, and Kevin Serfas of Turin as the new Vice-Chair.

Alberta Canola is pleased to welcome two new directors to the Board:

  • Wayne Schneider of Nisku, replacing Renn Breitkreuz in region 6
  • Roger Chevraux of Killam, replacing Dale Uglem in region 11

No nominations were received for region 12, where Brian Hildebrand retired from the Board. Growers that are interested in representing region 12 should visit albertacanola.com/elections

The Board of Alberta Canola would like to thank outgoing directors Renn Breitkreuz, Dale Uglem, and Brian Hildebrand for all the hard work they have done on behalf of Alberta’s canola farmers.

Renn joined the Board in 2014 and served on a variety of Board committees, and represented Alberta Canola on the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) Board as well as Vice Chair and Chair of the Board.

Dale joined the Board in 2016 and served on the Grower Relations & Extension and Research committees, represented Alberta Canola on the Board of the CCGA and served as Chair of the FarmTech Planning committee.

Brian joined the Board in 2017 and served on the Research and Government & Industry Affairs committees.

Visit albertacanola.com/about for more information on the Board of Directors, the committees that guide the board, and Alberta Canola’s regions.

The mission of Alberta Canola is to support the long term success of canola farmers in Alberta through research, extension, consumer engagement, and advocacy for canola farmers.

Source: Alberta Canola

Tax Credit Rate For Alberta Canola Producers In 2018 Is 17.43 Per Cent

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Canola growers in Alberta that do not request a refund of their check off from the Alberta Canola Producers Commission qualify for a tax credit for the 2018 tax year.

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit allows canola growers to claim the tax credit for that portion of the check off paid that was used to fund qualifying research.

“The tax credit is an additional benefit for growers who pay check-off on crops like canola”, says John Guelly a farmer from Westlock, Alberta and the Chair of Alberta Canola’s research committee. “Farmers are funding research into finding solutions to agronomic issues like clubroot, while being able to capture some of that investment back at tax time.”

The tax credit rate for Alberta canola producers in 2018 is 17.43 percent. For example, if an individual grower paid $100.00 in check off to Alberta Canola in 2018, $17.43 is the eligible amount to be earned as the tax credit.

The tax credit can:

offset federal taxes owing in the current year,

  • be received as a tax refund,
  • be carried forward up to 10 years to offset federal taxes owing, or
  • be carried back 3 years to reduce federal taxes paid in those years.
  • Individual producers must file a T2038 (IND). Farm corporations must file form T2SCH31.

For more information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency or your accountant.

More information on the SR&ED tax credit can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency Website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/txcrdt/sred-rsde

Source: Alberta Canola

China Grants Regulatory Approval of TruFlex Canola with Roundup Ready Technology

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Canadian and U.S. canola farmers will have access to Bayer’s next-generation canola trait following confirmation that China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has granted safety certificate approval for the import and food/feed use of TruFlex canola with Roundup Ready technology (MON88302). MARA has notified Bayer that a safety certificate for TruFlex canola has been granted. MARA has publicly posted this information on their website and we are awaiting final documentation, which we expect to receive shortly.

“After five years of waiting to introduce this product to Canadian and U.S. farmers we are thrilled to move forward with commercialization in 2019,” says Jon Riley, trait launch lead with Bayer. “Farmers want, and need, new technology to help drive yield on their farms and they are looking forward to planting TruFlex canola this coming season.”

The company is encouraged that fundamental improvements in the regulatory process in China remain an important focus in ongoing negotiations with governments that have significant exports to China. Bayer supports the goal of these negotiations; enabling a predictable, timely, transparent and science-based process in China that fuels both global innovation and trade.

TruFlex canola is part of an improved canola system compared to Genuity Roundup Ready canola and is designed for a range of growing conditions. Among the benefits over Bayer’s current technology are:

  • Improved control of tough weeds – The TruFlex canola system allows for the control of a broad spectrum of tough-to-control weeds including cleavers, foxtail barley and wild buckwheat. It also helps enable season-long dandelion control.
  • Flexibility in spray rates and timing – The TruFlex canola system has a wider application window, providing farmers with up to 10-14 more spray days than our current technology. And by enabling flexible application rates, it will help farmers choose the right rate for the unique weed challenges they face on their farms.
  • Higher yield potential through genetics and improved crop safety – New genetics help deliver higher yield potential and the improved crop system delivers better weed control and crop safety over Genuity Roundup Ready canola.

Stewarded plot trials and field demonstrations took place at several locations across Western Canada last summer to allow farmers to see the performance of TruFlex canola in the field and drive pre-orders from farmers across Western Canada.

Bayer expects TruFlex canola will be planted on approximately one million acres in its inaugural season and will be offered in both the company’s DEKALB seed brand and from other Canadian licensees, including Nutrien Ag Solutions and CANTERRA SEEDS.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada granted full food, feed and environmental safety approval of TruFlex canola in June 2012 and the product has been approved for import in several export markets.  Securing import approval from China — Canada’s largest export market for canola —  further enables our 2019 commercialization plans.

Green Seed Canola – What To Consider When Marketing

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Harvested canola samples in 2018 contained variable levels of green seed. Neil Blue, provincial crop market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, looks at what producers should consider when marketing their crop.

The starting point for producers to deal with green seeds is to know what they have. Explains Blue, “What is the grade, dockage, moisture of representative samples, using different graders and perhaps including the Canadian Grain Commission.”

He notes that canola producers should be aware of the grading rules. According to the Official Grain Grading Guide from the Canadian Grain Commission, No. 1 canola may have up to two per cent distinctly green seeds and a maximum of five per cent damaged seeds including the distinctly greens. No. 2 canola may have up to six per cent distinctly green seeds and maximum 12 per cent damaged seeds including the distinctly greens. The No. 3 canola limit is 20 per cent distinctly green and 25 per cent total damaged seeds. Canola with higher levels than that will grade sample.

Blue says to clarify the term ‘distinctly green,’ the Canola Watch article Grading for Green points out that, “two limes don’t make a green.”

Blue says that particularly in the northern half of Alberta, harvested canola samples showed widespread but highly variable levels of distinctly green seeds.

“Some farmers have reported that there has been a reduction in the green seed count during storage and others have said that it has not changed since harvest,” he says. “The next step after knowing your product is to shop around as some buyers are accepting higher levels of green seed than others, and at different discounts. Also, some buyers may be able to do paper blending – mixing as a paper calculation the higher green count and lower green count canola to achieve a better overall grade and price.”

Producers need to be aware of the risks when storing green seed canola, as Blue says there have already been a number of cases of canola spoiling in the bin even if technically dry.

“Some of those spoilage cases have been attributed to the high green seed count. Spoilage can occur quickly and lower the value to sample canola, so producers need to regularly monitor the temperature and condition of stored canola. Many farmers also move it around to reduce the spoilage risk.”

If some canola spoilage has occurred, Blue says to first be sure to stop the spoilage. “Then, know what you have and shop around for the best market. Line elevator companies and crushers may not want low grade or out of condition canola. However, some targeted sales of high green count canola have been arranged by grain companies and some off-grade buyers specialize in such products. Also, many cash grain brokers have done a good job of finding a place for that canola to go.”

For more information or to request a list of crop buyers, contact Neil Blue at 780-422-4053 or [email protected]

Source: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

CPT 2018 Results Now Available

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The 2018 Canola Performance Trials (CPT) small plot and field scale data booklet is now available on the CPT website to download and view!

The booklet displays yield, height, lodging, days to maturity and calculated gross revenue values for 29 varieties (from all three HT systems) grown in short, mid and long season zone locations all across western Canada. It features results from 18 standard and nine straight cut small plot trials, as well as 42 field scale trials across the Prairies (including 13 standard, 20 straight cut and nine clubroot‑resistant variety field scale trials).

The three Prairie canola grower groups – Alberta Canola Producers Commission (Alberta Canola), the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola) and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association – funded the 2018 program. As a means of participation, the B.C. Grain Producers Association conducted trials in the Peace region. The provincial oilseed specialists and industry scientists provided expertise. The Canola Council of Canada delivered the program working closely with the CPT Governance and Technical Committees and the contracted coordinator (Haplotech). Seed was provided by the distributing companies.

The 2018 CPT dataset has not been added to the online database yet, but we are working to get it incorporated as soon as we can. We will send out another Canola Watch update once this database is updated.

Source: Canola Watch