Some Farmers Fail to Think Big About the Future of Canola



This week the Canola Council of Canada released its long term objectives for 2025.  The Canola Council of Canada was bold in its plans to set the clear objectives for the industry. Is 22 million acres at a yield of 52 bushels/acre producing 26 million tonnes crazy? Is it too lofty? Is it out of touch with reality?  Some say it is entirely possible and some say, “NO WAY.”


Some farmers took to Twitter to express criticism and their displeasure for the Canola Council contributing to lower canola prices in the future and plugging the rail system forever due to the fallout of 26 million tonnes.

Not everyone can be a dreamer, I guess.  For those of you that want to be instantly negative about change in general, I ask you to have a deeper look at the alternatives.

First, lets take a step back and consider the former goal of 15 million tonnes in 2015 (of which we blew through ahead of schedule in 2013).  Some called this goal ridiculous, outlandish and out of touch with what farmers and the industry were capable of.  Last time I checked attaining the 15 in 2015 target has also made many of you a lot of money.  If it hadn’t made you money canola rotations wouldn’t have shrunk from 4 to 3 years and acres wouldn’t be between 18 and 22 million.

With this week’s announcement the negative backlash from some farmers without consideration of the bigger picture of the industry is troubling. Many looked at the current railway issues as a reason to not dream of something bigger.  Would these people rather have the Canola Council say the following,

“In light of the current bearish commodity market, increasing basis levels and low commodity prices we have decided to do something radical.  We have decided to restrict production to 12 million acres and restrict investment in breeding programs because yields are high enough.  Lets be truthful, logistically we can only handle so much canola, we need to give other crops a better chance to surpass our dominance of the Western Canadian Prairies.”       — the Fake Canola Council of Canada —-

People would lose their minds. But is this not what you want? Don’t you want a system that guarantees farmer income and an industry that limits production growth? I don’t think so.

I firmly believe that the agriculture and oil industry need to provide production targets to challenge our two railway companies to figure out their future. Lay down the challenge, so to speak. Railways, seed companies, exporters, crushers and farmers all have a role in fulilling the targets as presented.

All industries must present challenges and objectives to stakeholders.  We all have dreams that we want to attain and the Canadian Canola industry should be no different. The last time the Canola Council set targets it worked out pretty well for the industry and especially your farm.  And that is the truth.

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