Nfld. & Labrador

First canola field in N.L. has first harvest

The province's first stab at growing canola was culled from the 30-acre field in Pasadena on Friday morning.

Harvest will help determine future of crop in the province

Workers keep tabs on the canola harvesting process in Pasadena. (Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods)

The provincial government's first attempt at growing canola in Newfoundland and Labrador wrapped up on Friday, as the crop was harvested from its 30-acre field in Pasadena.

The crop was sown by researchers and staff from the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods, part of a $1 million experiment to see if canola is viable on the west coast of the island. In a news release, the province said the harvest will be assessed by researchers to determine the quality of its canola oil or canola meal, and further develop procedures around its growth and processing.

The canola meal will be examined at the Pure Holsteins dairy farm in nearby Steady Brook, and the canola oil will be tested at various restaurants.

The canola field, in full bloom mid-July, became a much photographed sight in the Humber Valley. (Joanne Chaytor)

While the overwhelming majority of Canadian canola is produced in the prairies, Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province in Canada which does not grow the crop commercially. According to the Canola Council of Canada, the crop is worth $19 billion a year, with Canada as the largest exporter of the product in the world.

The Pasadena harvest comes on the heels of the resolution of a trade dispute over canola between Canada and China, which will see 40 per cent of Canada's crop continue to be exported to China.