Manitoba targeted for non-GMO soybean production to fill export opportunity
Published: October 4, 2018
Category: Non-GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Though Western Canada has been dominated by genetically modified soybean acres, seed companies are developing high protein varieties to expand Manitoba’s Red River Valley non-GMO soy production.
In contrast to Ontario and Quebec, food grade soybeans are very scarce in Manitoba and Saskatchewan—less than 1 percent of soybean output in Manitoba. Quebec and Ontario growers planted one million non-GMO soy acres in 2017, 25 percent of total soybeans. Non-GMO soymilk and tofu are important export products in Eastern Canada.
“Canada exported 130,000 metric tons of food grade soybeans to China in [2016-17],” the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported, representing a five-fold increase since 2014-15.
North Dakota planted 300,000 non-GMO soybean acres to supply China as well—but the state is losing export opportunities due to the U.S./China trade dispute. Soy Canada hopes to boost its national soy production for export markets, necessitating a 25 percent increase in acres.
The challenge is finding suitable non-GMO varieties for production in Manitoba, said Jason McNaughton, IP soybean marketing manager with Hensall Co-op in Ontario. Non-GMO soybean buyers typically look for varieties containing protein content of 40 percent or higher.
Source: The Western Producer
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