Head of Seeds & Traits, Canada, BASF
Head of Global Oilseed Breeding, BASF
Canadian canola growers support our economic and environmental goals, so let’s ensure that we’re supporting them, too.
Canada is the world leader in canola exports, and canola contributes hugely to our economy and GDP. Canadian agriculture — and in particular the canola industry — is well-primed to be part of our ongoing economic growth and prosperity, and it’s also a valuable contributor to Canada reaching our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
The crop has grown significantly over the past two-plus decades, and for that, Canadians should be proud. “Canola is truly a made-in-Canada story,” says Brent Collins, Head of Seeds and Traits, Canada at BASF, a company offering seed, seed treatments, crop protection products, and digital solutions to help farmers sustainably increase the yields and quality of their crops. “Over the last 25 years, canola acres have grown from 10 million acres seeded in 1996 to 23 million acres in 2021, becoming one of Canada’s most valuable agricultural exports. Today, there are 43,000 Canadian farmers who grow canola, and more than 207,000 Canadian jobs are linked to the crop.”
Responsible farming practices allow Canadian farmers to sequester 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gas in their fields each year.
Meeting the needs of Canadian growers
The canola oil industry’s strong and continued growth over the past 25 years has been supported by innovations in the field, including BASF’s InVigor® hybrid canola.
“InVigor hybrid canola has played a significant role in the development of the Canadian canola market as a result of delivering top-performing hybrids with strong genetics and key agronomic traits,” says Collins.
Since the launch of InVigor in 1997, significant investments in hybrid breeding and trait research have resulted in constant innovations that provide solutions for the challenges that Canadian canola growers face. These innovations include herbicide-tolerant hybrids, pod shatter reduction genetics, and clubroot-tolerant hybrids, notes Stewart Brandt, Head of Global Oilseed Breeding at BASF, which have allowed farmers to make impressive advances in environmental stewardship and in supporting Canada’s environmental goals, including carbon sequestration.
“Responsible farming practices allow Canadian farmers to sequester 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gas in their fields each year,” notes Collins. “Approximately 70 percent of all the carbon sequestered by Canadian field crops is due to canola.” And innovations such as InVigor’s patented pod shatter reduction technology have helped farmers to lower labour costs and reduce fuel use. The result: economic gains and environmental wins for farmers, and importantly, all Canadians.
25 years of growing together
In 2022, BASF will celebrate 25 years of InVigor hybrid canola, and that growing success is all because of Canada’s incredible canola growers. It’s only through the support, innovation, and adoption of new technology by Canadian farmers that Canada has realized both economic growth and advanced sustainable modern farming practices.
“BASF is committed to continually investing to further expand seed, trait, crop protection, and digital technologies to support farmers in growing canola sustainably from seeding to harvest,” says Collins. “Each day, BASF invests $4 million globally in agricultural research and development. Through this investment and the resulting hybrid and crop protection innovation, BASF will continue to help growers succeed by providing solutions to address the challenges they face and help make the most out of every acre.”
By nurturing a culture of innovation in alignment with its customers’ needs, BASF’s technologies aim to ensure that crops grow healthier, stronger, and more resistant to stress factors, such as heat or drought. The company’s continual innovation gives Canadian canola growers a connected crop offering of InVigor hybrid canola seeds, crop protection products, and digital technology.
The Canadian agricultural industry is one to watch and should be a point of pride for all Canadians. As Canada continues to grow, evolve, and lead on the world stage, let’s ensure we’re supporting not only the growers, handlers, and haulers of Canada’s crop, but all contributors to Canada’s agricultural industry.