Canola School: Does Your Canola Pass the Smell Test? Reports of Heated Canola Rise

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There’s been a rise in reports of heated canola over the last few weeks, with some crushers saying they can’t accommodate any more until well into the new year.

“It’s unfortunate this has to happen, but it is a good reminder for the rest of us to monitor our bins,” says Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist with Canola Council of Canada, in this audio episode of the Canola School.

Heated canola (credit Canola Council of Canada)
Heated canola (credit Canola Council of Canada)

Early swathing, green weed seeds, high moisture at binning and high humidity during drying have all increased the risk of canola spoiling in storage.

As a minimum, she recommends opening doors and hatches of bins to smell and feel the canola: “As funny as that sounds, canola that’s starting to heat will have a distinct smell and it will be noticeable compared to a bin that’s not heating.”

“My number one recommendation is to pull a load out of that bin, even if you don’t think it’s heating. You just never know because this starts in very localized spots in the bin and can quickly become an entire bin,” says Brackenreed, noting temperature cables may not detect hot spots.

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Based on anecdotal reports, she says it appears there are more issues with canola heating on the eastern side of the Prairies.

“There’s potential the market is fairly saturated in Manitoba since there has been a spike in the last couple weeks, but I really encourage producers to phone around and see if there is a delivery point, as there are crushers that will take it for different markets,” she notes. “Don’t just think it’s a total loss.”

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