The new plant, based in Camrose in Alberta, is the second canola-crush facility operated by the agri-food giant in Canada, said Ken Stone, assistant vice president of Cargill’s grains and oil seed crush business. The other is located outside of Saskatoon and has already been expanded.
Construction on the new plant started about two years ago, he added. Stone did not divulge the investment costs involved in setting up the new crushing facility.
The rationale behind the new build is the growing supply of canola in Canada coupled with a strong demand for canola oil and canola meal, he told FeedNavigator.
The new Cargill canola processing facility is reported to be the first major investment in Alberta’s grains and oilseed sector in 30 years.
"The global demand for canola is on the rise, and we're targeting an increase to 26 million metric tons by the year 2025," says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada. "More than half of this will be processed in Canada for markets around the world. Cargill's new plant takes us a step closer to achieving this goal."
'Right in the middle of the supply'
Cargill already has an animal nutrition plant and a grain export facility in Camrose. It also has a beef-processing facility in High River.
The plant site was chosen on the understanding that much of the canola processed would come from growers in that area.
“We wanted to be right in the middle of the supply,” said Stone. Reaction from producers has been positive.
Expanding the canola market
The Camrose site is set to handle more than one million tons of canola seed, and produce about 600,000 tons of canola meal, Stone said. It will almost double the amount of canola processed by Cargill when added to the amount generated by the Saskatoon plant.
The new site also offers easy access to either of Canada’s national railways, and most of the North American market, he added.
“Both railways have access to different parts of the North American marketplace,” he said. “That gives us good coverage from a market access, and we’re set up to execute shuttle trains of canola meal.”
With the increased production, more canola meal will be available both for existing buyers and for new markets, including Asia, said Stone. At times, he said, the product sees strong export demand.
Cargill is focusing on supplying sectors like the dairy and beef markets in the US, covering areas such as California, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Texas and Wisconsin, in addition to the Canadian market.
“Canola meal is a good feed for the ruminant industry,” said Stone.
However, the plant isn’t designed to just produce canola meal, it also will generate about 400,000 tons of canola oil, which is destined for the food or biodiesel markets, he said.
Canola feed research
Researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Sherbrooke, Quebec, recently carried out a meta-analysis of data on the inclusion of canola meal in the diets of dairy cows, and concluded that milk production and milk protein yield responded positively to substitution of protein ingredients with canola meal.
“This research showed that substitution of proteins with canola meal resulted in 0.75kg more milk and 29g more milk protein per cow per day,” Brittany Dyck, canola meal manager for the Canola Council of Canada, told FeedNavigator previously.
She said the meta-analysis results indicated improvements in milk yield at canola meal inclusion levels as low as 1kg per day.