Monsanto Ups Investment in Oilseed Canola

John Davis

Seed giant Monsanto is upping the amount of money it is investing in the oilseed canola, which can be turned into biodiesel.

This Reuters article says Monsanto is raising its spending on canola research and development to between about $20 million and $30 million, about the same amount the company puts into wheat, and will open a $12 million canola breeding center in Winnipeg:

“It’s a very large crop for this company,” said Derek Penner, president of Monsanto Canada.

Spending to improve canola yields remains a high priority, along with seeking greater resistance to the fungal disease blackleg, Penner said. China has restricted imports of Canadian canola with blackleg.

With such seed research investments, Canada canola acres may soon match, but are unlikely to surpass, plantings of wheat because of the need to rotate crops, Penner said.

Canola’s expansion is more likely to happen through higher per-acre yields and additional acreage in the northern United States, Penner said.

The fact that canola is so profitable for farmers is a key reason seed companies are investing in it, said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in an interview.

“Canola is king. It is the best cash crop for producers.”

You can read more about Canadian canola biodiesel at this website:

Biodiesel, biofuels