Seeds and agrichem firm DowDuPont is in the final stages of developing a high protein canola variety to compete with soyabean, which dominates the oilseed meal market.

According to Dave Dzisiak, DowDuPont North America commercial leader for grains and oilseeds, the company was aiming to sell ProPound canola as early as 2019, Reuters wrote on 18 May.

Dzisiak said the industry wanted more option in the protein meal market and ProPound canola was announced while other agri traders – such as Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill – were turning to peas as a protein source.

Soyabeans are currently the number one protein meal crop due to their 47% protein content, significantly higher than the average 37% protein content found in canola.

However, DowDuPont said ProPound canola could narrow the gap by producing a canola meal with 44% protein.

So far, developing high protein canola varieties had always come with the downside of diminished seed or oil yield, but with ProPound – developed through traditional plant breeding – DowDuPont had been able to increase protein levels without lowering either seed or oil production, said Dzisiak.

The company intended to target pig and poultry farms and fish production facilities in Canada, China and the USA with the new canola.

Canola’s lower protein content was reflected in its 30% lower price when compared with soya, but Dzisiak believed that the comparable protein content could shrink the price discrepancy to 10%, allowing canola meal exporters to earn greater profits and undercut soya meal.