Canola: A made-in-Canada crop – research strategies towards sustainable canola production


Ma, B.L., A. Herath, W. Wu, and P. Mason. 2016. Canola: A made-in-Canada crop – research strategies towards sustainable canola production. Poster presentation at the Ottawa Doors Open event. Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Jun 5.


Canola (Brassica napus L.) was developed by Canadian plant breeders as a healthy human oil and nutritious animal feed, using traditional plant breeding techniques. Traditional rapeseed oil was unsuitable for human consumption due to high erucic acid, and its meal contained high anti-nutrition glucosinolates. The name “Canola” came from “Can” (for Canada) and “ola” (for oil low acid); it is distinct from rapeseed, due to low in erucic acid in the oil < 2% and low in glucosinolates in the meal < 30 micromoles/g. Therefore canola is generally referred as “Double zero Rapeseed”. In just a few decades, canola has become one of the world’s most important oilseed crops, and it brings the highest revenue for Canadian farmers. Canola has been rapidly adopted and has become a major cash crop in western Canada. However, canola production is far less common in eastern Canada. Our research activities focus on: Developing best agronomic practices for promoting canola as a viable cash crop in eastern Canada; Addressing efficient nutrient management practices for increasing resource use efficiency and crop productivity; Advancing knowledge of tolerance mechanisms of the canola crop to heat, drought and lodging; and Implementing sustainable development with less environment impact for the general public.

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