Technology and innovation are the driving forces behind Canada’s successful oilseed industry. Canadian oilseed crops produce high quality oil content ranging from 20% in soybeans to 40% in canola and flax, and have numerous food and industrial uses. Canola and flax are mostly seeded on the Prairies, where the climate is best suited to their growth. Soybeans are grown primarily in Southern Ontario because of its longer frost-free season, but there now over 1 million acres now grown in Manitoba and 100,000 in Saskatchewan.
Initially bred in Canada, canola breeders have continued to improve genetics of this crop, making it the most profitable crop in Canada. Canada produces 20% of the world’s canola and is by far the largest global exporter, with exports valued at over $2 billion annually. While Canada only supplies 2% of the world’s soybeans, their high quality sends them into premium markets. Canada’s oilseed industries have been so successful in large part due to the scientific expertise that has gone into plant breeding, the development of hybrid varieties, innovative crop protection solutions and better management practices.