Quality of Canadian Soybean, oilseed-type 2017 - Introduction

1. Introduction

Canadian soybean growing area has expanded over the last couple of years so that they are now a crop grown countrywide from the Maritimes to the Prairie Provinces (Figure 1). 

This harvest survey report is based on 437 samples of oilseed-type soybean (previously described as non-food grade), more than what was received in 2016 (371). Samples were from Manitoba (106), Saskatchewan (37), Alberta (6), Ontario (209), Québec (60), and New Brunswick (19). Of the submitted samples, 32.3% graded Soybean, No. 1 Canada; 65.4% Soybean, No. 2 Canada; 1.1% Soybean, No. 3 Canada; 0.7% Soybean, No. 4 Canada and 0.5% as Soybean, No. 5 Canada.

Quality data (oil, protein, free fatty acid, chlorophyll and fatty acid composition) are based on the means of Soybean, No. 1 and No. 2 Canada grades combined for all oilseed-type samples received from the Maritimes (New Brunswick), central Canada (Ontario and Québec), and western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta). Table 1 compares this year's data to last year and to the 5-year average. In Table 1, we have provided the oil and protein content on a dry matter basis and on a 13% moisture basis.

Table 1. Soybeans, No. 1 and No. 2 Canada: Quality data for 2017 and 2016 harvest plus the 5-year means
Quality parameter 2017 2016 2007 to 2016 mean
Number of Soybean, No. 1 and No. 2 Canada samples 427 363 298
Oil content, % 20.9 21.7 21.4
Oil content (%, 13% moisture) 18.2 18.9 18.6
Protein contentFootnote1, % 38.6 40.1 39.8
Protein contentFootnote1 (%, 13% moisture) 33.6 34.9 34.6
Oil-free protein of the meal (%, 13% moisture) 42.5 44.6 44.1
Chlorophyll content (mg/kg in seed) 0.3 0.4 0.3
Free fatty acidsFootnote2, % 0.13 0.12 0.11
Oleic acid (% in oil) 22.0 22.7 22.1
Linoleic acid (% in oil) 54.4 53.1 53.2
Linolenic acid (% in oil) 9.6 8.2 8.7
Total saturated fatty acidsFootnote3 (% in oil) 15.2 15.3 15.3
Iodine value 137.0 133.2 134.1

Figure 1. Soybean production area in Canada (source: SoyCanada)

Soybean production area in Canada

This map shows the regions, from west to east: Prairies, Onatrio, Québec, and Atlantic, where Soybean is now a crop grown countrywide.(Source: Soy Canada)


In 2017 the average oil content for Soybean, No. 1 and No. 2 grades combined, was 20.9% on a dry matter basis (Table 1). This was lower than last year’s average of 21.7% (Table 1) and the 5-year average (2012 to 2016) of 21.4%. The average protein content for Soybean, No. 1 and No. 2 grades was 38.6%, which was lower than last year’s 40.1% and the 5-year average 39.8%. The oil and protein content averages for No. 1 and No. 2 grades combined varied between eastern and western provinces; Manitoba had an oil content of 21.0% and a protein content of 37.4%, whereas Saskatchewan had an oil content of 21.9% and a protein content of 36.1%. Alberta had a similar result as Saskatchewan with oil content of 21.4% and protein of 36.0%. In the east Ontario’s oil content was 20.9% and a protein content of 39.4%; Québec’s oil content was 20.1% and protein content of 40.3%; while New Brunswick had an oil content and protein content of 21.2% and 37.3%, respectively. Unfortunately, we received no samples from Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia this year.


The Grain Research Laboratory acknowledges the cooperation of the soybean producers, grain handling offices, and oilseed crushing plants in eastern and western Canada for supplying the samples of newly harvested soybean. We also, acknowledge the work of the Industry Services Division of the Canadian Grain Commission in grading producer samples. The technical assistance of the Oilseeds staff in the Grain Research Laboratory is recognized.

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