Spring-harvested canola: Quality, marketing and storage risks

May 13, 2020 – Issue 9

Quality. Word on the street suggests decent quality for overwintered canola harvested this spring. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) Harvest Sample Program will provide farmers with an unofficial grade that can provide useful background information when it comes to negotiating a price.

The CGC ran a similar spring program for overwintered canola in 2017. Of the 161 canola samples submitted that spring, 34 per cent were No.1, 26 per cent were No.2, 20 per cent No.3 and 20 per cent sample.

Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA), which represents the canola processors in Western Canada, knows that spring-harvested canola can be lower in weight, lower in oil content, higher in free fatty acid levels and at increased risk of animal damage. As a result, oilseed processors will assess the physical and intrinsic quality attributes of each spring-harvested canola sample, and make a decision as to whether to accept delivery.

Marketing. Here are companies that will buy off-grade canola from time to time.

Storage risks. A lot of spring-harvested canola is coming off dry, but aerate and monitor it just in case. That’s because moulds and sapropythic fungi on the grain could increase the chance of spoilage and heating in warmer summer conditions. If canola has a high green count or high dockage, this can also increase instability and storage risk.

University of Manitoba canola storage researcher Digvir Jayas says there are currently no studies that relate immature and green seeds or amounts of dockage/foreign material (DFM) to safe storage times. However, based on professional experience, Jayas says a 5% reduction in safe storage time for each percent increase in immature and green seeds can used to assume the adjusted safe storage time. Similarly, a 5% reduction in safe storage time can be assumed for DFM of 5% to 10% and a 10% reduction for DFM of 10% to 20%.

Canola Watch