Corteva Agriscience announced on 15 January that it was part of a consortium investing more than CAD$27M (US$20.48M) in improve the protein content of Canadian canola.

“This is the first commercial plant breeding project focused specifically on canola protein quality improvement and is part of the Government of Canada’s Supercluster Initiative,” said the seed and crop protection firm, which was previously the agriculture division of DowDuPont.

Corteva and other consortium members – global agribusiness firm Bunge and Canada’s Botaneco – would invest CAD$14.05M (US$10.7M) in the project, while Protein Industries Canada would provide CAD$13.6M (US$10.3M).

“High protein seed genetics will transform Canadian canola to be both a high value oil and a high value meal crop,” said Bryce Eger, President of Corteva Agriscience Canada.

“Canola is one of Canada’s most important crops and this project has the potential to take it to the next level,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “By investing in breeding to improve protein and reduce fibre, we will increase the value of Canadian canola – especially the meal for use in livestock feed – resulting in higher prices for the meal, which is traditionally sold at a discount.”

Corteva said it had a proven history of canola breeding in Canada, including providing improved yield and performance; disease resistance, such as the first clubroot resistant canola hybrids in the industry; and high stability Omega-9 canola oil.

Botaneco supplies feed meal, protein concentrates and emulsifiers, as well separation and purification technology, for food, feed and personal care applications.