Green seed canola a big issue for producers this year

Know what you’ve got, watch for spoilage, and make calls to potential buyers of lower grades, says crop specialist

Some farmers are seeing a reduction in the green seed count in stored canola, others are seeing ‘dry’ canola spoil because of green seed.
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Canola samples have highly variable levels of distinctly green seed this year, says a provincial crops analyst.

“Some farmers have reported that there has been a reduction in the green seed count during storage and others have said that it has not changed since harvest,” said Neil Blue.

But many producers, particularly in the northern half of Alberta, are seeing a lot of green seed.

Blue urges producers to understand the grading rules for green seed and to read the Canola Watch article Grading for green: Two limes don’t make a green.

No. 1 canola can have up to two per cent distinctly green seeds and a maximum of five per cent damaged seeds including the distinctly greens. For No. 2 canola, it’s six per cent and 12 per cent damaged seeds respectively and for No. 3, 20 per cent distinctly green and 25 per cent total damaged seeds. Canola with higher levels than that will grade sample.

“The next step after knowing your product is to shop around as some buyers are accepting higher levels of green seed than others, and at different discounts,” said Blue. “Also, some buyers may be able to do paper blending — mixing as a paper calculation the higher green count and lower green count canola to achieve a better overall grade and price.”

Producers need to be aware of the risks when storing green seed canola, as Blue said there have already been a number of cases of canola spoiling in the bin even if technically dry.

“Some of those spoilage cases have been attributed to the high green seed count. Spoilage can occur quickly and lower the value to sample canola, so producers need to regularly monitor the temperature and condition of stored canola. Many farmers also move it around to reduce the spoilage risk.”

If some canola spoilage has occurred, stop further spoilage.

“Then, know what you have and shop around for the best market,” said Blue. “Line elevator companies and crushers may not want low-grade or out-of-condition canola. However, some targeted sales of high green count canola have been arranged by grain companies and some off-grade buyers specialize in such products.

“Also, many cash grain brokers have done a good job of finding a place for that canola to go.”

For more information or to request a list of crop buyers, contact Neil Blue at 780-422-4053 or [email protected].

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