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Good things come to those who swath

Like any other crop, canola’s future lies well beyond the success of the 2009 harvest. Growers’ fortunes in any one year seldom impact on the evolution of the industries that rely on a mix of a grower’s prowess and Mother Nature’s good graces.


October 20, 2009
By Ralph Pearce

Like any other crop, canola’s future lies well beyond the success of the 2009 harvest. Growers’ fortunes in any one year seldom impact on the evolution of the industries that rely on a mix of a grower’s prowess and Mother Nature’s good graces. The truth in today’s economy is that whether or not a grower succeeds does little to a processor’s capacity to add value to canola oil or a consumer’s demand for a particular product. And yet, growers stand to benefit from continued research and development in canola; perhaps more so than other crops.

That really is the good news picture for canola, as researchers and food processors continue to explore new uses for canola oil, as well as uncover newer health and even environmental benefits.

Perhaps that has been the long-standing, yet harsh, reality for growers. Despite years of encouragement from company reps and researchers introducing new traits and new processes, all with the end goal of higher farm incomes, the truth is without first having the processors and demand from the consumer, the potential for higher farm income is likely to go nowhere.

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This particular scenario is referred to as the farmer-push versus the industry-pull. Time and again, we have seen it just does not happen that way.

And we are witnessing changes in that tug of war, almost at the speed that this piece is being written. We are about to move from short-term stagnation to a long-term stampede, all thanks to the industry pulling and creating demand for, among other things, canola.
 
This is the part of agriculture that is most exciting to me: the discovery (however long it may be taking) and building of the infrastructure that takes crops such as canola beyond commodities, and turns them into raw materials valued for their many properties and components. In fact, canola has long been a leader in this field, and it is about to move to the next level.

It is one of the reasons why Top Crop Manager provides this annual perspective on canola, not just because of the time, money and research invested in its continuing development, but because of the discoveries that are pushing its popularity to new levels.

In this issue, we are also breaking ground with our latest Machinery Manager feature, which offers a look at combines, including our streamlined specs, and accompanying links to our website for the complete listings from our eight featured manufacturers.

Just as the canola sector is trying to add value, so are we.

Let us know how we’re doing.