The Canola Council of Canada’s Crop Production & Innovation team serves farmers and industry by concentrating its efforts on four priority areas: research leadership and coordination, knowledge creation and transfer, preparation for emerging threats, and support for regulatory and market access efforts.

Above: Leadership includes encouraging growers, agronomists and anyone else visiting farms to think about clubroot biosecurity all the time. This photo is from Sask CanolaPalooza in Saskatoon.

Working Together to Grow Yields and Opportunities

The Canola Council‘s crop production and innovation (CP&I) team is focused on working throughout the value chain to maintain and build the supply of high quality canola for the Canadian canola industry. As the marshalling point for knowledge transfer and industry-wide action on issues impacting the sustainable supply of canola, the team focuses on four priority areas.

1. Research leadership and coordination.

The CCC leads and coordinates national research funded through the Canola AgriScience Cluster partnership (funded by the federal government, provincial canola grower associations and industry) and the Canola Agronomic Research Program (funded by the provincial grower associations) as well as sharing those results and extending that knowledge through tools such as the Canola Research Hub. These research efforts also feed into the team’s  ability to bring expertise together and drive advancement on major agronomic topics impacting both growers and industry through the Blackleg, Clubroot, Fertility and Sclerotinia Steering Committees in Canada, as well as with the international research community. The CP&I team also coordinates and runs the Western Canada Canola/Rapeseed Recommending Committee (WCC/RRC) pre-variety registration trials each year, which drive the canola quality standards and breeding trends.

CCC agronomy specialist Justine Cornelsen, fifth from the left, is part of the International Blackleg Working Group, an example of research leadership and collaboration as well as preparation for any emerging or changing threat from the disease.

2. Knowledge creation and transfer.

Here is the author, Taryn Dickson, setting up a booth at Combine College in Lethbridge. The event is one example of collaboration with provincial groups to enhance the transfer of knowledge.

In addition to have geographic responsibilities, the CCC agronomy specialists have individual areas of specialization – such as clubroot, blackleg, stand establishment and harvest management. The CP&I team also coordinates and contributes to knowledge-transfer tools such as Canola Watch, Canola Digest and the annual Canola Discovery Forum (CDF). CDF is a site of both knowledge creation and transfer, as well as focused, in-depth investigation into specific pillars. Similarly, collaborative knowledge transfer events hosted with the provincial grower groups (‘Palooza events and Combine College, for example) are focused on specific areas that have the biggest impacts on our strategic pillars. The CP&I team is also working with a new Sustainable Supply Committee which includes senior representative members from throughout the value chain. The committee aims to coordinate industry agronomy communications to ensure knowledge and best management practices are transferred to industry and producers as effectively as possible.

3. Preparation for emerging threats.

Investigation into Canadian and global canola and rapeseed production issues allows the CP&I team to work on emerging agronomic threats. This includes coordinating a water monitoring program in Canada to check for potential pesticide residues and several blackleg projects to improve grower access to agronomic tools and to maintain market access. The CP&I team is involved in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops steering and research committees, as well as efforts to demonstrate the value of biodiversity and beneficial insects, and to measure and improve the canola industry’s sustainability metrics.

4. Support for regulatory and market access efforts.

These four priorities help define the key objective that the CP&I team has always strived for, which is to provide credible, evidence-based data and knowledge to support all areas of CCC activity – from production issues though to supporting market-access objectives.

The CP&I team is an important source of expertise in efforts to prevent and resolve market access issues. By working closely with the CCC’s public affairs staff in Ottawa the team provides science-based knowledge behind farming practices and seasonal concerns of growers in order to best communicate with the federal government in Canada and in other trading nations. Work with federal government branches, such as the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, ensures government has the best scientific information possible when making decisions that could impact canola growers and the industry that supports them.

As part of the Keep it Clean! program, the CP&I team amplifies reach to growers, retailers and agronomists with on-farm practices that ensure their crops are market ready. This helps the Canadian canola industry to continue to meet the standards of our global export customers.

These four priorities help define the key objective that the CP&I team has always strived for, which is to provide credible, evidence-based data and knowledge to support all areas of CCC activity – from production issues though to supporting market-access objectives.