Overview of Research
Since 1991 SaskCanola has funded over 370 research projects related to canola agronomy, trait development, alternative uses, and many other areas intended to benefit canola profitability to Saskatchewan producers.
SaskCanola works to allocate 35-40% of its annual budget to research. The projects that are selected for funding are approved by SaskCanola's Research Committee which is comprised of producers from the Board of Directors who work with the research manager and experts in the community to carefully analyze the proposals that are received.
The overarching goal of SaskCanola's research committee is to focus research expenditures on fostering innovation, decreasing production risk, and increasing sustainability resulting in enhanced producer profitability.
SaskCanola's Research Committee has strict standards for approval. The research agenda of the commission remains focused on the producer, with two main objectives.
Improve producers' net returns by increasing production-related profitability by providing recommendations for field management of canola and associated inputs. Some areas of focus include:
- Agronomic and production research projects in the areas of crop management including such things as crop rotations, crop establishment, crop nutrition, crop protection (disease, insect, weed management), harvest and storage management;
- Genetic solutions with priorities such as insect and disease resistance, nutrient use efficiency, and stress tolerance.
Improve producers' net returns by increasing market-related profitability by developing new products and uses from canola oil and meal for the food and non-food markets. Some areas of focus include:
- Health benefits of canola oil for human diets;
- Biodiesel and additives derived from canola oil;
- Protein fractionation processes and products for human use;
- Increasing the value of canola meal for livestock and aquafeeds use.
Having producers fund canola research through SaskCanola is imperative to the future success of this crop. Below are two questions that are sometimes asked by producers, and it is important you understand the answers.
Why is research important to farmers?
- Competitive Edge: Research is essential to stay competitive in the global oilseed market and to maintain a competitive edge.
- Producer Priorities: You as a producer are given the opportunity to give direct input into research priorities to ensure that investments are beneficial to you on your farm.
- Enlarging the research funds through partnerships.
- Matching funds - the government at times provides funds that exceed the funds that producers bring to a research program, sometimes it's a fifty-fifty split, sometimes more, sometimes less - in each case we increase the levy's research impact.
- Producer group partnerships - often we create partnerships with other canola producer groups in western Canada and sometimes with other levy groups in Saskatchewan to share the cost of research, this results in more producers working together to solve producer issues.
- At times SaskCanola funds projects because producers need answers - it may not attract other funding contributors but your organization believes it is necessary to get it done, so full funding is provided.
Where are my research funds spent?
- SaskCanola has funded research at many public institutions like Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Victoria, and the National Research Council.
- At times we fund research in public institutions that is then commercialized by private companies: Milligan BioTech in Foam Lake; Can-Pro Ingredients of Arborfield; and Elevance Renewable Sciences. All these companies use canola in their processes which grows markets for canola producers.
- Traits that improve agronomics for canola have been funded by SaskCanola in the past. We are looking at ways to move these traits into varieties for producers to take advantage of in the future.
Can I see canola field research when it is occurring?
- There are field days in Saskatchewan at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research stations near Scott, Melfort, Swift Current and Indian Head. Many of the Agri-Arm sites in Saskatchewan have canola projects that are presented at their field days. You will be able to see the plots first-hand and hear the scientists explain the results and answer your questions. Check it out this summer!
Where can I get written reports?