Quality of western Canadian canola 2012

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 Graiding Guide for Canola and Rapeseed (Chapter 10).  This report is 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 2012 harvest survey included samples received up to November 20th, 2012.  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 2012 harvest survey report were based on the 2,108 samples, which was more than what was received in 2010 and 2011 (1,641 and 1,755 respectively). 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 1.89% dockage in November (ranging from 1.20 to 2.50%), 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 2012 survey samples was compared to 2011 results and to long-term survey means.

The percentage of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (83.2%) in the 2012 harvest was lower than percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada observed in 2011 (85.2%), with similar gowing (Figure 4). This number (83.2%) was lower than the 5 year average of percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada (87.0%). As in 2011, the grade distribution of the 2012 canola crop varied from crop district to crop district.  Manitoba had the highest percent of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (87.6%), followed by Alberta (83.16%).  Saskatchewan had the lowest percent of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (80.9%).  Central Saskatchewan and north-west of Manitoba were the areas showing the lowest percent of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (< 80.0%). 

The  main degrading factor in 2012 from Canola,No. 1 to Canola, No. 2.  was high green seed counts. Green seed counts were 0.90, 3.18, 6.70 and 1.07% in samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada, Canola, No. 2 Canada, Canola, No. 3 Canada and Sample, respectively.  Most of samples at the lowest (graded as Sample) were downgraded because of admixture and not green seed counts. Conspicuous admixture defined as material found in the sample after cleaning and is easily distinguished from canola without the use of magnification in the Official Grain Grading Guide.

Figure 4 – Historic distribution of canola grade in harvest survey, 2004-2012

Distribution of Canola grades in Western Canada 2004 to 2012. Graph described above.
Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2012
Percentage (%) Alberta crop districts Saskatchewan crop districts Manitoba crop districts
> 95.0   3AS, 3BN, 3BS, 4B 7, 11
90.0 - 94.9 1, 6 8B 1, 1A, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10
85.0 - 89.9 2, 3 1B 2
80.0 - 84.9 7 9B 12
75.0 - 79.9 4A, 4B, 5 2B, 5B, 6A, 8A, 9A NA
70.0 - 74.9 NA 7A 6
< 69.9 4A, 4B, 5 2A, 3AN, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7B 5
Figure 5 – Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2012
Canola No. 1 Canada distribution in the western Canada samples in 2011. Details in table above.