Can we create the supply needed to reach canola demand?

Cargill’s Camrose crush plant (courtesy Cargill)

It’s no secret the canola crush plant industry has been expanding in Western Canada, and as the biofuel industry continues its climb, it’s something we will likely continue to see.

Brian Voth, founder of IntelliFarm, says that as demand rises across the market — and he’ll argue demand is never a bad thing — it begs the question: can supply keep up to this impossibly tight balance sheet?

“With Richardson in Yorkton, and now Bunge in Altona planning a small expansion as well, you’re going to be looking at adding a million and a half to two million tonnes of crush capacity over the next three years, give or take. As long as the export market continues the way it has been, it’s great for canola, but we almost start to question, as we’re going to get to a point where the demand is just going to exceed the supply side, because we can’t physically grow enough?”

Acreage or yields will need to increase — and with a dry outlook across the Prairies yet again,  extraordinary yield numbers could be tough to achieve (although we’re holding out hope).

“If the average yields all of a sudden take a jump of a couple of bushels an acre, it would be no problem, but it seems like yields have been generally — and this is just overall as a Canada average — yields have been relatively flat, since we took that big jump in 2016. It’s great from a canola farmer’s perspective. There’s never a bad situation when there’s more demand added, I don’t think, but it’s going to be more of a matter of can we fill it from a supply side when they are up and running.”

Want to hear more? Listen to Voth’s full discussion on the t0pic during this Q&A!

Related: Richardson to double annual canola crush capacity at Yorkton plant

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