Quality of western Canadian canola 2011

Harvest survey samples and grade distribution

Samples for the Canadian Grain Commission canola harvest survey were collected from producers, crushing plants and grain handling offices across western Canada. The samples were cleaned to remove dockage prior to testing. Individual harvest survey samples were analyzed for oil, protein, chlorophyll and total glucosinolates using a NIRSystems 6500 scanning near-infrared spectrometer. Industry Services grain inspectors assigned grade level based on the Official Grain Grading Guide for Canola and Rapeseed (Chapter 10). The preliminary report (prepared in November) was based on the NIR analysis of each sample whereas this report was based on the analyses of composite samples made of same grade samples per crop district and province. Composites were prepared by combining Canola, No. 1 Canada samples by provincial crop district; Canola, No. 2 by province, and Canola, No. 3 Canola and Sample Canada samples by western Canada.

The quality data of the 2011 harvest survey included samples received up to November 17, 2011. Specialty oil samples such as high oleic acid, low linolenic acid, and high erucic acid, were excluded from this report. The quality data for this 2011 harvest survey report were based on the 1,755 samples, which is slightly more than the 1,641 samples analyzed in 2010. The harvest survey data were collected from producer and crushing plant samples that had been cleaned to remove dockage. Exports of commercially cleaned canola exports contained an average 1.79% dockage in December (ranging from 1.3 to 2.20%), which will affect quality factors such as oil content, chlorophyll and FFA. Canola exports containing over 2.5% dockage are considered not commercially clean (NCC) and will have even greater reductions in measured quality components. The composition of 2011 survey samples was compared to 2010 results and to long-term survey means.

For the 2011 harvest, 85% of the canola samples obtained in the survey were graded as Canola, No. 1 Canada (Figure 2). Similar to last year, this year the main degrading factor was high green seed counts. The percentage of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada in the 2011 harvest was higher than percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada observed in 2010 (75.3%), which was a cold and wet growing season. However, this number (85%) was lower than what was observed in 2009 (91.9%) and 2008 (94.7%). As in 2010, the grade distribution of the 2011 canola crop varied from crop district to crop district (Figure 3). The northern part of Alberta showed the lowest percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada (from 65.5 to 80.0%) compared to Manitoba (80 to 100%). The northern part of Saskatchewan also showed some crop districts with low percents of samples grade Canola, No. 1 Canada (70 to 80%). The slow crop development due to wet and cold weather from June to July, plus the mid-September frost were some of the primary causes of the higher level of immature seeds present in the samples from these areas. These high counts of immature seeds were associated with higher chlorophyll contents in these samples - even the ones graded Canola, No. 1 Canada - when compared to other samples from other areas with the same grade. The average green seed counts were 0.58, 3.25, 10.68 and 14.25% in samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada, Canola, No. 2 Canada, Canola, No. 3 Canada and sample, respectively.

Distribution of Canola grades in Western Canada 2004 to 2011. Graph described above.
Figure 2 – Historic distribution of canola grade in harvest survey, 2004-2011
Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2011
Percentage (%) Alberta crop districts Saskatchewan crop districts Manitoba crop districts
> 95.0 1, 2 1B, 2B, 3BN, 4A, 6A, 7A 3
90.0 - 94.9 3 3AN, 4B, 5A, 5B, 6B, 8B 2, 9, 10
85.0 - 89.9 NA 3BS, 8A 4, 5, 7, 8, 11
80.0 - 84.9 7 3AS, 7B 1, 12
75.0 - 79.9 5 1A, 2A, 9A NA
70.0 - 74.9 NA NA NA
< 69.9 4A, 4B, 6 9B 6
Canola No. 1 Canada distribution in the western Canada samples in 2011. Details in table above.
Figure 3 – Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2011