Quality of western Canadian canola 2015

Harvest Sample Program samples and grade distribution

This report of quality data for the 2015 harvest is based on analyses of 1,941 individual canola samples. Composites of various grades from various crop districts composites from each province were made using all the samples. Specialty oil samples, such as high oleic acid, low linolenic acid, and high erucic acid, were excluded from this report. Slightly less canola samples were received in 2015 when compared to the 2014 harvest (1993 samples) or the 5-year average (1841 samples).

Exports of commercially cleaned canola exports (from August 2015 to December 2015) contained on average 2.01% dockage, ranging from 1.00 to 2.50%, which affects quality factors such as oil content, chlorophyll and free fatty acid. Canola exports containing over 2.5% dockage are considered not commercially clean (NCC) and have even greater reductions in measured quality components. The composition of 2015 samples was compared to 2014 results and to long-term sample program means (Table 1). Comparison with the quality of Canadian canola exports shipments is provided in Table 6 and in Figure 6.

In 2015, 91.5% of the samples were graded Canola, No. 1 Canada, compared to 80.8% in 2014 and 93.7% in 2013 (Figure 4). This number (91.5%) is much higher than the 5-year average of percentage of Canola, No. 1 Canada (83.4%).

The grade distribution of the 2015 canola crop varied from crop district to crop district (Figure 5). In some areas, the percentage of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada was lower than 70%. Saskatchewan had the highest percentage of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (93.8%), followed by Manitoba (93.6%) while Alberta had the lowest percentage of samples graded Canola, No. 1 Canada (86.6%). The crop districts showing the lowest of samples in the top grade were Alberta-British Columbia Peace River no. 5, 6 and 7 (82.6, 82.9 and 65.8%, respectively) and Manitoba no. 11 and 12 (75 and 80%, respectively).

Figure 4. Canola samples received in the Harvest Sample Program and the historical grade distribution, 2005-15

Map - Canola samples received in the Harvest Sample Program and the historical grade distribution, 2005-15. Details in table below.

Canola samples received in the Harvest Sample Program and the historical grade distribution, 2005-15
Crop year Total samples No. 1 Canada No. 2 Canada No. 3 Canada Sample Canada Percent No. 1
2005 2186 1920 198 60 8 87.80
2006 2485 2268 196 14 7 91.30
2007 2114 1859 212 37 6 87.90
2008 1767 1674 58 17 18 94.70
2009 1362 1251 81 16 14 91.90
2010 1785 1345 244 128 68 75.30
2011 1749 1487 166 65 31 85.20
2012 2089 1714 301 45 29 82.89
2013 1588 1488 62 21 17 93.70
2014 1765 1452 218 63 32 82.27
2015 2015 1840 121 37 17 91.50

The main degrading factor for Canola, No. 1 to Canola, No. 3 was high distinctly green seed counts. Distinctly green seed counts (DGR) were 0.50% in Canola, No. 1 Canada, 4.0% in Canola, No. 2 Canada, 7.3% in Canola, No. 3 Canada and 2.6% in Sample. Most of samples at the lowest grade (Sample) were downgraded because of admixtures and sprouting, not because of distinctly green seed counts. The Official Grain Grading Guide defines conspicuous admixture as material found in the sample after cleaning and is easily distinguished from canola without the use of magnification.

Figure 5. Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2015

Map - Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2015. Details in table below.

Distribution of Canola, No. 1 Canada by crop district in western Canada samples received in 2015
Percentage Manitoba crop districts Saskatchewan crop districts Alberta crop districts
> 95 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 1A, 1B, 3AN, 3BN, 3BS, 4A, 5A, 6A, 6B  
90 to 95 2, 3, 7 2A, 2B, 5B, 7B, 8B, 9A, 9B 1, 2, 3, 4
85 to 90 4 3AS, 4B, 7A, 8A  
80 to 85 12   5, 6
75 to 80 11    
70 to 75      
65 to 70     7