The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) is applauding Tuesday's news that two canola traits developed using biotechnology have been approved in China.

The Canola Council says the approvals open the door for new seed genetics that will enable Canadian farmers to grow hundreds of millions more dollars of canola on the same amount of land. It adds the approval of new seed innovations will increase Canada’s canola supply and is important for providing China a secure and predictable source of grain and protein.

“This is a great day for canola innovation,” said CCC President Jim Everson. “These traits will make Canada’s canola crop more resilient in the face of weed, disease and weather stresses – the benefits will be felt through the value chain and the larger Canadian economy.”

With the completion of this review in China, the industry can proceed with commercialization of a Liberty tolerance trait from BASF and Bayer’s TruFlex trait. Once these two traits and Corteva’s Optimum GLY are fully commercialized, the industry expects growers will produce $400 million more canola every year using the same amount of land.

All three of the traits have been approved in Canada since 2012, but in keeping with the CCC’s Market Access Policy, seed developers have not commercialized them until they are approved in major markets.

It's expected that new seed genetics in combination with the new traits will improve yields, weed control, disease resistance and resilience to heat, cold, drought and excess moisture, as well as agronomic factors like reduced harvest loss.

“Not only will we be able to produce more canola to meet growing world demand, we’ll also be able to do it sustainably, using the same land base,” Everson said. “That’s good news for anyone who cares about the health of our environment and a strong, diversified farm economy.”

China is Canada’s largest canola seed customer. Recently, Canada and China agreed to double agriculture trade by 2025.

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