Government of Canada Invests Over $12 Million to Advance Innovation and Sustainability in Canada’s Canola Sector

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Canada’s canola sector is strong and growing. In 2016, Canadian canola seed and oil exports accounted for almost 15 per cent of total agriculture and food exports, valued at $9.2 billion. Canola has also been the largest crop in Canadain terms of market receipts since 2010, and accounts for more than one-fifth of all Canadian cropland. The Government of Canadaknows that research and innovation are vital to ensuring Canadian canola farmers have a sustainable and profitable future.

While visiting the Bruce D. Campbell Farm & Food Discovery Centre, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced up to $12.1 million in funding to the Canola Council of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters.

Building on the work of two previous clusters, this research investment includes an additional industry contribution of up to $8.1 million. The cluster will focus on advancing the growth and profitability of the sector through innovative and sustainable approaches to creating new and improved products. Activities will include adapting food processing techniques, exploring uses for canola meal in livestock production, examining practices to optimize yields, protect crops from pests, and share lessons learned with stakeholders.

“Innovation is critical to the growth of the canola industry and this research will help us to contribute to the government’s goal of $75 billion in exports by 2025,” said Jim Everson, President, Canola Council of Canada. “Not only that, it will support our 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 2025.”

The Government of Canada is also continuing to support new markets for the canola sector. In 2016, Canada reached an agreement to secure canola trade with China, which allows for exports of canola seeds under existing commercial terms until March, 2020.  Exports of canola seed to China continue to increase reaching $2.6 billion in 2017. In addition, in June 2018 the Government introduced legislation to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which will further help to open markets and increase exports.

“We are committed to continue working closely with the canola industry, so that together we can help reach our government’s goal of $75 billion in exports by 2025,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “The investment we announced today will help keep the sector on the cutting edge so it continues to grow sustainably while contributing to our economy and supporting well-paying middle class jobs.”

The announcement is part of Minister MacAulay’s “Growing Canadian Agriculture” tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, and participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.

 

Frost Hits Canola. Do I Swath?

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This is the question for many canola growers Sept. 4 as frost (in some areas heavy and long-lasting) hit parts of Alberta over night.

Start with these steps:
—Check standing canola the morning after a frost.
—Before taking any action, wait 4-6 hours after frost to allow the full extent of frost damage to become evident. The crop may look undamaged in the morning but by the afternoon wilting, desiccation and pod splitting may begin. This crop may need to be swathed to preserve yield, but keep in mind that high green counts are likely.
—Light to moderate frost damage may take longer to show up. If no damage is evident after the first day and you decide to leave the crop to mature more fully, scout again after 2-3 days to reassess.
—If most or all seed is mature and you planned to swath the day after a frost anyway, then don’t bother waiting 4-6 hours. Just start swathing.

Responses for heavy or light frost

Heavy frost… below -2°C: Assess the damage in early afternoon. Check pods for a white, wilted appearance. Pod shatter and pod drop could begin within a day, especially with warm sunny afternoons. If pods are desiccating rapidly, swathing right away will preserve as much yield as possible.

For canola with high seed moisture, frost in excess of -5°C is generally lethal, resulting in non-viable seed. At such low temperatures, ice crystals physically disrupt structures such as membranes and enzymes. Pods of immature canola crops frozen at lethal temperatures have been observed to turn black, whereas mild frost turns pods white or white-speckled.

Light frost… above -2°C: Hold off swathing. Check in the afternoon for wilting to make sure frost damage was not heavier than expected. You may see some speckling on the stem and pods, but this is of little concern as long as the plant is still alive. If no wilting, leave the crop standing and check daily.

What to look for during daily monitoring:

—If the majority of the seeds remain green and immature, delay swathing to allow for further seed maturity.
—If the pods are severely damaged and are beginning to desiccate, swath during periods of dew or high humidity to reduce the amount of pod shelling and pod drop.


Frost and quality. A killing frost will reduce quality, but that can’t be helped — whether you swath today or wait. Immature seeds (moisture content higher than 20%) will be damaged. Seeds with less than 20% moisture will normally escape damage. Green seed is the major downgrade that results from frost.

Source: Canola Watch

Plenty to Learn at November Symposium

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The 9th Canadian  Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight and 4th Canadian Wheat Symposium held in Winnipeg this fall is shaping up to be an event not only for scientists and those in the ag technology sector, but one farmers and producers will find of value as well.

“Being in Winnipeg, on the Prairies, I would love to see more producers come to this,” says Tom Fetch, event co-chair and research scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “I think they would find a number of things that would be helpful, [like] revolutionary ideas in technology that they could start using on their farm.”

Fetch looks after the wheat symposium side of things. Tom Gräefenhan of the Canadian Grain Commission is looking after the Fusarium head blight side of the event. Fetch said the two have been working on the event for close to a year now to get everything in order.

Each day will start with a plenary session. After that, attendees can attend any of the sessions throughout the day.

There are a total of five sessions for both wheat and fusarium head blight, running the first and second day in the afternoon. On the third day, the conference finishes at noon.

The first day will focus on breeding and genetics, with the second day focusing on the technology side of things. Day 3 will include a focus on remote sensing technology.

Steve Shirtliffe from the University of Saskatchewan will talk about drones and Heather McNairn with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is going to address the use of satellite images in growing wheat.

What’s New?

In terms of what’s new for attendees to expect, Harvey Brooks from the Saskatchewan Wheat Commission will offer a breakdown of industry funding and how that might be changing. Another highlight Fetch points out is the Grains and Health session with Yanni Papanikolaou from Nutritional Strategies Canada as the keynote speaker.

New this year is a session about wheat production and management, with a speaker from SeedMaster focusing on new technologies for producers like robotics.

The 9th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight and 4th Canadian Wheat Symposium will be held at the Fairmont in Winnipeg, Nov. 19-22, 2018.

Registration is now open. For more information visit cwfhb-cws.com.

Leaders Wanted to Represent Alberta’s Canola Growers

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The Alberta Canola Producers Commission is seeking four canola growers to serve as directors on the board of directors for a 3-year term. This year, directors are needed in regions 3, 6, 9, and 12.

Alberta Canola divides Alberta into 12 regions, with each region electing a producer director to represent the canola growers within that region. Visit albertacanola.com/regions for a map and information on the regions.

The Board of Directors meets quarterly and is guided in decision making by five committees comprised of board members and staff.

The committees are:

  • Research
  • Governance and Finance
  • Grower Relations and Extension
  • Government and Industry Affairs
  • Public Engagement & Promotion

For full descriptions and committee roles please visit: albertacanola.com/committees

Can I become an Alberta Canola Director?

Do you grow canola in Alberta? Then yes!

Any producer who has paid a service charge on canola sold since August 1, 2016 can stand for election as a Director. An eligible producer can be an individual, corporation, partnership, or organization and must produce canola within the defined region in order to be nominated. A producer does not have to reside within the region.

What do I actually have to do as a Director?

  • Represent the canola farmers in your region on the Board, making informed decisions on issues based in research, finance, policy, extension, and market development.
  • Travel to 4 board meetings per year. You will also have the opportunity to attend a diversity of valuable meetings, courses, conferences, and events.

For complete details on becoming a director and to download nomination forms visit albertacanola.com/elections

Nominations for the position of Director must be filed in writing at the Alberta Canola office on or before 4:00 pm on October 31, 2018.

Canola Council Launches New Tool To Help Growers Optimize Combine Performance And Increase Yields

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The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) released a new web-based application to help producers with combine adjustments during harvest, maximize yield and edge us closer to an average yield of 52 bu/ac by 2025.

The combine optimization tool was developed on behalf of the CCC by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) and is intended to assist with the process of setting the combine for canola harvest. The new tool can be found at www.canolacalculator.ca alongside calculators for target plant density and seeding rates.

“In combine adjustments for all crops, we are trying to balance productivity with harvest losses and grain quality but most producers know firsthand the particular challenge this can pose for canola harvest,” says Angela Brackenreed, CCC agronomy specialist. “We often see an unacceptable level of loss that is frustrating to correct.”

In 2016, the CCC released a video explaining the loss measurement process and revamped the Combine Seed Loss Guide. Brackenreed says the combine optimization tool is a valuable follow-up. “Simply suggesting that setting adjustments need to be made when there are high losses is much easier said than done, particularly with challenging harvest conditions.”

The combine optimization tool takes the traditional diagnostic settings flowchart and puts it into a web-based application you can access on your phone. Growers can go through a stepwise process based on the harvesting issue they’re experiencing (i.e. grain loss, grain sample quality or productivity) and review the adjustment options most likely to correct the issue.

Joel McDonald, program manager of Agricultural Development Services at PAMI’s Humboldt facility points out that the optimization tool can be used for any make or model of combine. “It could be 25 years before most combines on the Prairies have built-in sensor technology that creates self-adjusting machines. Until then, there are tens of thousands of combines that rely on the operator and this guide is a new way for PAMI and CCC to reach them with the information they need when they need it.”

Angela Brackenreed and Joel McDonald will be presenting on combine grain loss and the new combine optimization tool at Ag in Motion. Catch them in the Agri-Trend Knowledge Tent on Thursday, July 19 at 2:00 pm.

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. Visit canolacouncil.org to learn more.

Source: Canola Council of Canada