Watch this video to see a time lapse of a canola crop seed to harvest. Read more to learn about the health benefits of canola, and the innovative products made from the crop.
Cooking oil, livestock feed and ethanol fuel is top of mind when Canola is being discussed.
The Canola Council of Canada (2016)1 state the following:
“The world’s healthiest vegetable oil is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant. The seeds are 44% oil – more than double the oil content of soybeans. In addition to its heart-healthy properties, canola oil is renowned for its fine culinary qualities.
High-protein meal is produced from the other 56% of the canola seed. Canola meal is an excellent animal feed for cattle, poultry, swine and fish. When fed to dairy cows, it can increase milk production by one litre per day. Researchers have also developed a protein isolate that could one day be used for human nutrition.
Biofuel feedstock is one of the newer uses for canola. It’s the feedstock of choice for Canadian-produced biodiesel because of its exceptional cold weather performance. Compared to fossil diesel, canola biodiesel reduces lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 90%.
Canola is the world’s only “Made in Canada” crop. It was developed by researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba in the 1970s, using traditional plant breeding techniques.
Today innovation continues to drive the industry. Researchers are exploring new uses for the plant and pushing the boundaries of where canola can be grown. Advances in seed are improving yields, hardiness and profitability while elevating oil and meal to even higher levels of quality.”
Here is an example of what 1 acre of canola could potentially produce and a few benefits for using this crop:
- Cooking Oil: 120 gallons of oil could be made into 91,296 servings of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Assumptions: Contains about 40% oil2, 3,000 lbs per acre, gallon of oil weighs 8 lbs so one acre produces 150 gallons per acre4 (3,000 x.40 / 8 = 150 gallons per acre). 80% is recoverable with mechanical press3 (150 *.80 = 120 gallons available for making cookies). 120 gallons = 1920 cups4 of oil. Cookies call for 1 cup oil, which serves 48 people (1920 cups x 48 servings = 91,296). One acre of canola can makes 91,296 servings of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
- Biodiesel: Great option for cold temperatures. By replacing 2% of the petroleum diesel used in Canada with biodiesel, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of taking 300,000 cars off the road5.
- Livestock Feed: Canola meal (what’s left after the oil is extracted) is a good source of protein, containing 38 to 42% protein and amino acids6. It’s a great supplement for livestock feed. When used in dairy rations, it can increase milk production by one litre of milk, per cow, per day7.
Assumption: One acre is roughly the size of a football field without the goal posts. In Canada yields average 40-60 bushels8 per acre bushels per acre (2,000–3,000 pounds per acre).
1Canola Council of Canada (2016). What is Canola? http://www.canolacouncil.org/oil-and-meal/what-is-canola/
Images courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/rape-spring-canola-field-yellow-1382142/