Storage risk: Is your canola high in oil?

The higher the oil content of canola, the lower the moisture content required for safe long-term storage. Some research suggests that if canola at 40% oil can be stored safely at 8.5% moisture, then canola at 45% oil should be stored at 8% moisture.

Oil content tends to be set last. A hot dry finish to the season or anything else that causes plant to senesce prematurely will tend to reduce seed oil content. Higher oil content tends to occur when canola experiences cooler wetter weather right through to full maturity. Delaying swathing can help with oil content. On the other hand, excess nitrogen availability (beyond what is needed for optimal yield) can be correlated to lower oil content as this favours protein production in the seed rather than oil formation.

Growers can get an oil reading (along with protein and chlorophyll) when they send sample to the CGC harvest samples program. Click here for more on the program.