Nearly 50 years ago, on November 26, 1969, in Fairview, Alberta, an educational opportunity for area farmers was held. The Alberta Rapeseed Seminar introduced farmers to the possibilities this new crop might have for them and their farm businesses.
In that year, Statistics Canada records that 265,354 tonnes of rapeseed were produced on 816,000 acres in Alberta – an average yield of .33 tonnes or 14 bushels per acre. The crop contributed under $50 million or 5 percent, of total farm cash receipts.
Later that same day, the provisional Board of the Alberta Rapeseed Association was elected by the farmers attending the seminar. The goal was to develop this new crop for the betterment of Alberta farmers and the agricultural industry.
Twenty years later, Alberta Regulation 158/89, the first regulation enabling the establishment of a refundable producer check-off was approved by Ernie Isley, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development. This caused the Alberta Canola Producers Commission to come into existence on August 1, 1989. In that year 2.7 million acres of canola produced 1.41 million tonnes with an average yield of .52 tonnes or 23 bushels per acre. It contributed $419 million of farm cash receipts, still just 9 percent of the total.
August 1, 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.
In 2018, canola growers in Alberta harvested an estimated 6.7 million acres producing 6.4 million tonnes with an average yield of 42 bushels per acre.
Canola now contributes almost $3 billion of farm cash receipts, which represents roughly 25% of the total farm cash receipts in Alberta.
To learn more about Alberta Canola’s priorities and activities – watch our year in review video or read our annual report