Quality of western Canadian canola 2013

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. Canadian Grain Commission grain inspectors assigned grade levels based on the Official Grain Grading 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 Canada and Sample Canada samples by western Canada.

For this report, 1676 canola samples from the harvest survey were analysed. Specialty oil samples such as high oleic acid, low linolenic acid, and high erucic acid, were excluded from this report. Fewer canola samples were received than in 2012 (2,108), but the number was similar to what was collected in 2010 and 2011 (1,641 and 1,749 respectively).

Exports of commercially clean canola (from September to November 2013) contained, on average, 1.95% dockage. Dockage levels ranged from 0.90 to 2.00%, which will affect quality factors such as oil content, chlorophyll and free fatty acid content. Canola exports containing over 2.5% dockage are considered not commercially clean and will have even greater reductions in measured quality components. The composition of harvest survey samples from 2013 was compared to 2012 results and to long-term harvest survey means (Tables 3, 4 and 5). Comparison with the quality of Canadian canola export shipments is provided in Table 6. Tables 7, 8 and 9 present quality parameters for crop districts in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta (plus the Peace River area of British Columbia).

In 2013, 93.7% of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada. This number is higher than the percentage observed in 2012 (82.0%) (Figure 4) and the 5-year average (85.0%). Grade distribution varied from crop district to crop district (Figure 5). Saskatchewan had the highest percentage of samples that graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (96.9%), followed by Manitoba (94.9%). Alberta had the lowest percentage of samples that graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (88.5%), but this number is still higher than the percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada observed overall last year. Alberta crop district No. 6 had the highest percentage of downgraded samples, where only 64.7% of samples were graded Canola, No. 1 Canada.

The main degrading factor in 2013 for Canola, No. 1 to Canola, No. 2 was high green seed count (distinctly green seed). Distinctly green seed values were 0.44, 2.29, 3.38 and 0.44% in samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada, No. 2 Canada, No. 3 Canada and Sample, respectively. Most samples that were graded as Sample were downgraded because of admixture and not green seed count. Conspicuous admixture is material found in the sample after cleaning and is easily distinguished from canola without the use of magnification, as defined in the Official Grain Grading Guide.

Figure 4 - Canola samples received in harvest survey and the historical grade distribution, 2004-2013
Graph of distribution of Canola grades in harvest survey, described in table below.
Table: Canola samples received in harvest survey and the historical grade distribution, 2004-2013
Crop year Total samples No. 1 Canada No. 2 Canada No. 3 Canada Sample Canada Percent No. 1
2004 1943 1146 565 201 31 59.0
2005 2186 1920 198 60 8 87.8
2006 2485 2268 196 14 7 91.3
2007 2114 1859 212 37 6 87.9
2008 1767 1674 58 17 18 94.7
2009 1362 1251 81 16 14 91.9
2010 1785 1345 244 128 68 75.3
2011 1749 1487 166 65 31 85.2
2012 2089 1714 301 45 29 82.9
2013 1734 1624 69 22 19 93.7
Figure 5 - Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada samples received in 2013 from crop districts in prairie provinces
Map of Canola No. 1 Canada distribution in prairie provinces, details in table below.
Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada samples received in 2013 from crop districts in prairie provinces
Percentage (%) Alberta crop districts Saskatchewan crop districts Manitoba crop districts
> 95.0 1 1B, 2A, 2B, 3AN, 3BN, 3BS, 4A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11
90.0 - 95.0 3, 4A, 4B 1A, 5B, 6A, 9B 2, 6, 7
85.0 - 90.0 2, 5, 7 3AS 12
80.0 - 85.0 NA NA NA
75.0 - 80.0 NA NA NA
70.0 - 75.0 NA NA NA
65.0 - 70.0 NA NA NA
60.0 - 65.0 6 NA NA
50.0 - 60.0 NA NA NA