Quality of western Canadian canola 2012

Oil content

For Canola No.1 Canada, the 2012 mean oil content (43.5%) was much lower than the mean oil content observed in 2011 (45.2%), 2010 (44.3%) and 2009 (44.5%).  This is below the ten year (2002-2011) mean of 43.8% (0.3% lower) and the five year (2007-2011) mean of 44.4%.  The oil content mean in Manitoba (41.6%) was lower than in Saskatchewan (43.9%) and Alberta (43.9%).  The oil content of Canola No.1 Canada harvested in 2012 by producers across western Canada ranged from 35.6 to 47.8% in Manitoba, 38.3 to 50.4% in Saskatchewan and 37.6 to 49.6% in Alberta.  

The oil content for Canola, No. 2 Canada (43.0%) was lower than to Canola, No. 1 Canada, (43.5%); the oil content for Canola, No. 2 Canada samples from western Canada ranged from 38.0% to 49.1%.

Oil content is influenced by both genetics and environment.  For any known canola variety cool growing conditions will give higher oil content when compared to hot growing conditions.  The summer of 2012 was very warm and dry (starting in June) in most of the Prairies.  Overall, during the 2012 summer, monthly mean temperatures were 2 to 4°C higher than normal in July and September and about 1 to 2°C higher than normal in August in the Prairies.  Last year, Manitoba nights were cool with temperatures as low as 9 to 10°C in some areas from July to September.  In 2012, some temperature minimae were about 5°C higher than last year.  Minimum temperatures (night temperatures) could have an important effect on canola oil content, especially night temperatures during the early plant development.  July temperature minimae were high when compared to 2011, this could have greatly affected the oil content of the 2012 harvest.  Disease pressure was high this year, due to the wet and cold June conditions followed by the hot July-September conditions.  It is likely that disease also affected the canola oil content. 

The 2012 oil decrease was due to a combination of various factors - temperatures (low then high), moisture (lack of moisture in some areas, excess in others) and diseases.

The mean oil content of commercially clean canola exports of Canola No.1 Canada was 43.1% in November 2012 and averaged 43.3% for the August-October 2012 exports.  The oil content averages were lower in non-commercially clean exports (42.3 and 41.9% for November 2012 and August-October 2012 exports, respectively).  The oil content means for the actual shipping season were much lower than what was observed for last shipping season (44.4%).  The oil content of the export since October reflected the lower oil content observed in the 2012 harvest when compared to the 2011 harvest.

It is expected that the mean oil content of the Canadian export will remain in the 42.5-43.5% range for most of the 2012-13 shipping season.

Oil content of 2012 harvest survey samples, by grade and province
  Number of samples Oil contentFootnote 1 (%)
mean minimum maximum
Canola, No. 1 Canada
Manitoba 466 41.6 35.6 47.8
Saskatchewan 711 43.9 38.3 50.4
AlbertaFootnote 2 539 43.9 37.6 49.6
Western Canada3 1716 43.5 35.6 50.4
Canola, No. 2 Canada
Manitoba 60 41.1 38.5 45.3
Saskatchewan 153 43.4 39.2 49.1
AlbertaFootnote 2 87 42.7 38.0 47.5
Western Canada3 300 43.0 38.0 49.1
Canola, No. 3 Canada
Western Canada3 45 42.9 37.5 46.0
Canola, Sample Canada
Western Canada3 29 40.8 41.6 45.8

Figure 6 – Canola, No. 1 Canada - Oil content average, minimum and maximum of harvest survey samples, 2002-2012

Oil content average, minimum and maximum of Canola no 1, 2002-2012-Graph described above.


Footnote 1

8.5% moisture basis.

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Footnote 2

Includes part of the Peace River area that is in British Columbia.

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Footnote 3

Values are weighted averages based on production by province as estimated by Statistics Canada.

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