Winnipeg, Man. – A recent investment in canola research will help the industry differentiate itself from its competitors.
The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) says the $15 million investment from the federal government will also help to drive the industry.
“This research investment will help us make quantum leaps in sustainable production,” says Patti Miller, the CCC’s president.
“It will allow us to continue to differentiate canola oil and meal from our competitors. And it will provide economic and health benefits for Canadians.”
The CCC says the $15 million in new research funding is combined with industry contributions for a total investment in research and innovation of more than $20 million over five years.
“Investment in research has taken canola from just an idea over 40 years ago to now the top revenue-generating commodity on Canadian farms,” says Terry Youzwa, the CCC’s board of directors chairman, who is also a grower based in Nipawin, Sask.
“Continued investment is essential to keep the momentum going. Canada continues to see growth in canola crush capacity and exports, acres are at a new 20 million threshold, and the industry is within reach of our goal of 15 million tonnes of sustainable production by 2015.”
Miller adds that the investment in the new science cluster is a smart move for several reasons, including:
The projects under the new science cluster will be collaborative. They will involve a number of research institutions across Canada, including AAFC research stations, universities, and other public research facilities.
This new science cluster grew out of extensive consultations that very much enhanced collaboration among the participants. These relationships will help us address the key research challenges with minimal duplication. “And that’s a smart step in maximizing research dollars.”
The projects are focused around clear, strategic themes:
• Oil Nutrition: In the U.S. canola oil has already been authorized a qualified health claim for heart health, but further research is required to assess additional health benefits and potentially support additional health claims. The series of clinical trials related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes undertaken through the Canola Agri‐Science Cluster will establish clinical assessment in humans of canola oil in heart disease and diabetes, and further investigate promising research on canola oil and the fight against obesity.
• Canola Meal Nutrition: Canola Meal has long been used as an excellent protein ingredient for livestock. Its high protein content and amino acid profile make it a very competitive feed ingredient among other protein sources such as soybean meal and distillers dried grains. Canola Meal also fits well in the diets of poultry and swine, and previous research as well as the research proposed in this cluster will work towards demonstrating high performance in monogastric rations with high inclusion rates of canola meal. Another project will be using some subfractions of canola meal to investigate the potential for bio‐products. Research results will be shared across the livestock industry to promote canola meal’s advantages. Although meal in aquaculture is not a project under this science cluster, it remains an important aspect of the CCC’s overall program.
• Canola Health & Integrated Pest Management: This theme focuses on development of resistance to and management of a number of economically important pathogens and pests of canola across all production regions of Canada. In the canola production system, several diseases and several insect pests are economically important on an annual basis and other insect pests cause sporadic damage.
• Canola Yield & Quality Optimization: This theme focuses on some abiotic constraints impacting the canola production system, including emergence, Nitrogen management, drought tolerance and shatter resistance.
• Integrated Crop Management & Sustainability of Canola Production: The objective of this theme is to determine the profitability and impact of more intensive crop rotations in Canada.
• Canola Supply Surveillance and Forecasting: Agrometeorological crop simulation models are used operationally in many parts of the world for monitoring the effect of weather conditions and production practices on crop growth and for predicting crop yields from regional to continental scales. The success of the crop yield forecasting system strongly depends on the crop simulation model‘s ability to quantify the influence of weather, soil and management conditions on crop yield and on the systems ability to properly integrate model simulation results over a range of spatial scales.
• Science Cluster Tech Transfer: The objective of the Canola Research hub is to establish a Canadian state-of-the-art information hub for the transfer of canola agronomy research cluster findings to the producers and other stakeholders in the industry who can apply this innovation to their operations to improve profitability.