Canola oil content down


Warm weather during canola pod fill is expected to cut WA canola oil content, as Australia looks to produce just under 1.9 million tonnes of the oilseed this harvest.

Australian Oilseeds Federation’s latest canola crop report slashed its earlier national production forecast, of of 2.4 million tonnes, by 500,000 tonnes after a dry spring. The 1.9 million tonne national forecast is the second-lowest since 2010-11.

While down on last year’s national production, the figures are far greater than the low canola tonnages harvested during the millennium drought in 2006-07, when Australia harvested 500,000 tonnes in total.

The figure is also greater than the eight year average prior to the 2006-07 drought, which was 1.5 million tonnes.

WA farmers have planted 950,000ha this year and are expected to produce 792,000 tonnes of canola.

Australian Oilseeds Federation chief executive Nick Goddard said the east coast crop, at 1.1 million tonnes, was up on last year. However, seed was still expected to brought to the eastern states from South Australia and potentially WA.

“Drier conditions have exacerbated the situation with yields well below average,” the report said. “However, canola invariably surprises on the upside in WA, so, as is often the case, forecast canola volume may rise. The occurrence of a number of days of very hot weather during pod fill is expected to also reduce oil content, particularly in WA.”

Mr Goddard acknowledged the 1.9 million tonne canola prediction could still decline, with some growers cutting failed canola for hay.

Australian Oilseeds Federation publishes two canola crop reports a year, one in July and one in October.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences data expects 2019-20 canola production to increase by 6 per cent from 2018-19.

However, it is still Australia’s second lowest production of canola since 2010-11.

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