Small But Mighty Canola Offers Opportunity



When you think about crop production in the U.S., the big three are corn, soybeans and wheat—in that order. One crop that garners only a modest number of acres but might be worth taking a look at for your farm is canola.

“In the U.S., the ratio of supply versus demand of canola oil is about 1:4, which presents a huge opportunity for U.S. producers to grow more canola,” according the U.S. Canola Association.

There are a number of reasons for that. Among them, according to the USDA, is that canola oil for cooking ranks behind only soybean oil and palm oil. In addition, canola meal is the second-most used feed meal with livestock, behind only soybean meal. In the past 40 years, canola has gone from being the sixth-largest oil crop to the second largest globally.

Even so, U.S. farmers—at 17 million acres in 2017—produce only a small portion of the global crop. North Dakota farmers produce 83% of the total crop, according to Margaret Smith with the agricultural marketing resource center at Iowa State University.

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