Overview

Canola is an oilseed plant that scientists developed from the rapeseed plant. Canola is not the same as rapeseed because their nutritional breakdowns are very different.

Canola is an oilseed plant that scientists developed from the rapeseed plant.

This plant was named canola by combining the words ‘Canadian’ and ‘Oil’!

Canola, Flax, Mustard, Camelina, and Sunflowers are all oilseed crops that grow in Saskatchewan.

History of Canola

Rapeseeds were originally grown in Asia and Europe as a source of lamp oil. Rapeseed could not be consumed by humans and animals due to high acid levels.

Rapeseed was used for lamp oil years ago.

The first time it was grown in Canada was during the Second World War when supplies were cut off from Europe and Asia and the rapeseed oil was used in steam engines on ships. By 1950, steam engines started using diesel and then the rapeseed crop almost disappeared.

Oilseeds crops have seeds that have oil in them. Around 40% of the canola seed is oil.

During the 1960s and 1970s, scientists in Saskatchewan and Manitoba used traditional plant breeding processes with rapeseed plants and developed a new plant that had low levels of acid, which meant it was safe for people to use to cook with.

During the 1960s and 1970s, scientists in Saskatchewan and Manitoba used traditional plant breeding processes with rapeseed plants and developed a new plant: Canola

Growing Canola

Canola grows well on the Prairies because of the cool night temperatures which allows the plant to recover from the hot days. The plant is grown all over Saskatchewan, but the majority is grown in the black and dark brown soil zones.

This graph shows the major soil zones across the Prairies.

Fields are planted with seeds and fertilizer. Next, fields are usually sprayed with pesticides to control insects, weeds, and diseases. The seedlings come out from the soil four to ten days after planting. As the days lengthen, the plant grows a flower stalk and it blooms yellow. Flowering lasts 14 to 21 days. After the flowers are fertilized, pods form and take 35 to 45 days to fill with seed.

As the days get longer, the plant starts to flower and blooms yellow. Flowering lasts 14 to 21 days.

Once about one-third to one-half of the seeds have turned colour from green to yellow or brown, the crop is ready for harvest. During harvest, the farmers are able to swath the field into rows, let it dry on the ground for ten days, and then pick up the rows with the combine. Instead of swathing, farmers can also spray their crop to dry it out and straight cut combine (where the swathing and combining are done at the same time).

After the flowers are fertilized, pods form and take 35 to 45 days to fill with seed.
This video shows the process it takes to grow canola.

Canola Nutrition

Canola oil is a healthy oil. Our body needs fat to provide energy and help us absorb certain vitamins. Canola oil is high in omega-3 fats, which is a healthy fat, and low in saturated fats, making it a nutritious and healthy choice.

Canola is a healthy choice for our bodies.

Canola Products

The small yellow flower of the canola plant produces tiny round seeds in small pods. Around 40% of the canola seed is oil. The seeds are crushed to produce oil. The rest of the seed is processed into ‘meal,’ which can be used as a high-protein livestock feed.

Canola is used to make the following food products.
Canola is also one of the ingredients in the following products.

Take a look at where canola came from!