When we first saw the above photo on Twitter early this month, we weren’t sure what to think. Is it real? Has it been Photoshopped? Reports of heated canola aren’t unusual, but a whole bin seemingly on fire?
Well, it unfortunately was real, as around 1,600 bu of canola was destroyed on the farm near Kelvington, Saskatchewan.
It’s not clear how the fire started, but it’s a reminder of how volatile canola can be in storage, notes Daryl Beswitherick, program manager for quality assurance at the Canadian Grain Commission.
“We have seen it before, where it gets so hot that it starts to glow,” he says in the interview below.
The CGC’s grading guide even has a tolerances for fire-burnt canola, where the oilseed or grain is black and looks like charcoal. “Basically for top grades, you don’t want any of that in there,” says Beswitherick.
Samples that show any evidence of being charred or scorched by fire are considered fireburnt. Evidence includes odour, pieces of charred wood, and so on. Fireburnt seeds pop when crushed. — CGC Official Grain Grading Guide
The tolerance for heated canola is also very low — 0.1 percent in a No. 1 canola, and 0.5 percent in a No. 2 sample.