New High Protein Canola Threat to Soybean Meal?

posted on Thursday, November 2, 2017

U.S. livestock and poultry producers have typically relied on soybean meal (SBM) as a valuable and consistent source of protein in their rations.  The inclusion rates for SBM varies by species.  Except for dairy cattle, and to a certain extent beef cattle, SBM is the preferred source of protein.  Canola has some advantages in ruminants because more of the protein makes it through the rumen.  This is referred to as RUP, or rumen undegraded protein.

Canola meal has gradually gained ground in livestock and poultry diets due to ongoing improvements in the varieties of canola grown.  However, conventional canola (CM-CV) has an average crude protein level of 37% compared to SBM at 47%.

That difference is changing due to the introduction of ProPound™ Advanced Canola Meal by Dow AgroSciences in the spring of 2016.  ProPound is a part of the Dow AgroSciences canola portfolio made from a high-yielding Nexera canola seed.  The average crude protein level for ProPound is 44%, which is similar to the protein level of SBM from the expeller (non-chemical) process.

According to several research projects on swine conducted by the University of Illinois[1], High Protein Canola Meal (CM-HP) has some advantage over CM-CV in protein content and digestibility.  In addition, CM-HP can be substituted for SBM at various levels up to 100%.  However, it is never that simple.  The research also shows that other adjustments in the ration have to be made when CM-HP is replacing SBM.

Research on turkeys was conducted by Sally Noll at the University of Minnesota[2].  Two studies, starting turkey poult diets and turkey grower-finisher diets, were conducted.  Results show that CM-HP can replace SBM at levels up to 100%.

According to Chris Nowlan, Canola Products Market Manager, with Dow AgroSciences, 85% of Canada’s canola meal is now fed to dairy cows.  While participating in the Agricultural Bioscience International Conference, held late September in Winnipeg, Nowlan said Western Canada imports 1.5 million tonnes of SBM from the United States.  Most of this SBM is going to hog production.

Nowlan also said that the ProPound variety made up 15 to 20 percent of Dow’s Nexera acres in Canada this year.  That percentage is likely to grow in the future.  As CM-HP production grows imports of SBM into Canada are likely to decrease.  Imports of CM-HP into the United States are likely to increase as well.

That is a double whammy for the US Soybean industry.  However, new developments in soybean genetics offer the potential to offset this increased competition from high protein canola meal.  Soybean meal still has higher crude protein levels and higher digestibility rates.  Relative price for value will also continue to be important to nutritionists.

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  1. canola
  2. sbm