Soil awareness, new genetic resistance, and why canola is a cool crop, literally — Canola Week wrap-up

Photo: Debra Murphy, 2017

Around 375 agronomists, researchers and farmers were in Saskatoon this week for the inaugural “Canola Week.”

Organized by the Canola Council of Canada and AgWest Bio, the conference combined the annual Canola Industry Meeting, Canola Innovation Day and the Canola Discovery Forum, with several dozen experts sharing their latest findings in canola agronomy, disease resistance, genomics, sustainability, processing, and machinery.

We’ll have plenty more from Canola Week in upcoming Canola School episodes.

However, to sum it up and help us wrap our brains around the high-level science at the forefront of canola research, I sat down with Jay Whetter, editor of Canola Digest and Canola Watch, and Curtis Rempel, vice president of crop production and innovation for the Canola Council of Canada.

Jay Whetter and Curtis Rempel

We chatted about a number of highlights and themes coming from the meetings in Saskatoon:

  • the importance of understanding soil and soil maps in implementing precision ag;
  • the potential that still exists for mining new genetic sources of resistance to blackleg, sclerotinia and clubroot;
  • the role of canola in sequestering carbon and reflecting sunlight, mitigating the greenhouse warming effect;
  • how the canola seed business is changing with mergers and acquisitions (involving Bayer, Monsanto, BASF, DowDuPont);
  • the future of canola research funding, and more!

Listen to the conversation with Jay and Curtis, here:


Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin


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