Commercial plant breeding initiative to increase canola’s protein content

January 21, 2020

Corteva Agriscience, Bunge, Botaneco, and Protein Industries Canada announced a joint investment of more than $27 million to improve the protein content of Canadian canola. 

Corteva Agriscience (Saskatoon, SK, Canada) and consortium members Bunge (White Plains, NY), Botaneco (Calgary, AB, Canada), in addition to Protein Industries Canada announced a joint investment of more than $27 million to improve the protein content of Canadian canola. Consortium members will invest $14.05 million, while Protein Industries Canada will provide $13.6 million. A part of the Government of Canada’s Supercluster Initiative, this is the first commercial plant-breeding project focused specifically on canola protein quality improvement.

"We're pleased to announce our significant investment to revolutionize Canadian canola, which will open new, higher-value markets, and create economic benefits across the entire canola value chain and agriculture industry," explained Bryce Eger, president of Corteva Agriscience Canada, in a press release. "In addition to our focus on important agronomic input traits for farmers, high protein seed genetics will transform Canadian canola to be both a high value oil and a high value meal crop."

"By investing in breeding to improve protein and reduce fibre, we will increase the value of Canadian canola – especially the meal for use in livestock feed – resulting in higher prices for the meal, which is traditionally sold at a discount,” said Bill Greuel, CEO of Protein Industries Canada, in a press release. Opening up local feed markets is important because it’s a market where canola suppliers have been struggling to compete in, added Ryan Law, North American canola commercial manager at Bunge.

"This is an important project that will create new value for the entire Canadian canola industry and provide new companies like Botaneco the ability to better create novel downstream end-use products opening significant new markets," said David Dzisiak, chief operating officer for Botaneco, in a press release.