Farmers in Western Canada can mitigate risk and increase the return on their harvest without gambling on a futures contract. Lock in a premium price and save freight fees simply by contracting with Bunge to grow Nexera high oleic canola.
Health Benefits with Shelf-Life Requirements Drives Consumer Demand for High Oleic Canola Oil
According to Nolan Friesen, grain manager for Bunge in Altona, Manitoba, the high oleic canola oil market continues to grow. “High oleic canola oil produces a highly stable oil which results in a longer shelf life that meets packaged-food producers’ clean-label standards and stands up to the demands required for food industry applications,” he said.
Is High-Oleic Canola Oil Healthy?
For the consumer, high oleic canola is high in monounsaturated fat, similar to extra virgin olive oil, and has the lowest saturated fat level among edible oils, all with zero trans-fat per serving. Monounsaturated fats have proven to lower LDL cholesterol, known as the “bad” cholesterol, without reducing HDL cholesterol. These dietary benefits from a mindful lipid and cholesterol profile lower the risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. “Consequently, consumers will find high oleic canola oil very attractive,” added Bunge Grain Marketing Specialist Taryn Olfert.
Recent research presented to the American Heart Association demonstrated that high oleic canola oils can lower belly fat when used instead of other vegetable oil blends. Individuals at risk of coronary heart disease, including low HDL cholesterol, above average triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure, stand to benefit from high oleic canola oil versus other vegetable oils, including the corn/safflower oil blends and flax/safflower oil blends included in the study. “As more people discover these nutrient benefits, demand for high oleic canola grows yearly,” Friesen said.
This combination of the potential health benefits from a dietary focus on canola oils high in oleic acid versus other vegetable oils with a product that achieves a longer shelf life is a win-win for consumers and the food industry. Consumers have already driven demand for cooking oils high in monounsaturated fats, and the food service industry is always looking for ways to bring these benefits to food manufacturing.
How Does the Foodservice Industry Benefit from High Oleic Canola Oil?
High oleic canola oil doesn’t have the high levels of polyunsaturated fats found in regular canola oil and olive oil, which reduce their shelf-life. Consumers looking for the benefits of polyunsaturated fats in their cooking oil can find them in oleic acid-rich canola oil. Food manufacturers are looking for ways to provide the benefits of monounsaturated fats found in those cooking oils high in monounsaturated fats while maintaining shelf life. This search for high-quality vegetable oil, which provides health benefits regular canola oil can’t offer, and long shelf life has driven demand for high oleic canola oil in the foodservice industry. Their need for it in food products has created demand producers are increasingly asked to meet.
Bunge Offers Producers Financial Incentives to Contract High Oleic Canola Oil with Nexera
This demand for high oleic canola oil translates to higher margins for farmers participating in Bunge’s Nexera growing program. Currently, the program offers farmers several benefits that impact their bottom line:
- A premium price for their oleic acid-rich canola crop.
- Free on-farm pickup or freight assistance paid for self-haul.
- Buyer’s call contract for production above the contract level.
- Extended premiums for on-farm storage and deferred delivery.
“While the Nexera program offers many benefits to the grower,” Friesen said, “the premium price stands at the top of the list.” With demand driving a higher price for high oleic canola, Bunge shares profits with farmers participating in the Nexera growing program.
How Do Farmers Profit from Growing Oleic Acid-Rich Canola?
The profit-sharing options include a fixed-basis contract where program benefits are established within contract basis at fixed level up front,or a floating premium contract where the premium is associated with the contract, and local Canola basis is open to lock in at the market rate at any time prior to delivery. Farmers can also profit by eliminating freight charges through Bunge’s free on-farm pickup option. Additional incentives include purchasing production above contract levels, which Bunge will accept on a buyer’s call contract using summer delivery premiums. Bunge also offers graduated premium rates for on-farm storage with deferred delivery dates extending through August of the following year.
“Bunge has previously offered early sign-on bonuses for acres booked before the end of December,” added Olfert. “We’re looking to do so again, so keep an eye out for that extra possibility to increase your return on a Nexera crop.”
Farmer Protection Programs Limit Risk by Growing Oleic Acid-Rich Canola from Nexera
Participation in the Nexera program yields substantial benefits beyond potential price guarantees and premiums. However, Bunge and Corteva go further by supporting participating farmers with risk reduction in growing high oleic canola oil.
Corteva has laid out a grid across Western Canada and measures days of high heat when the crop is expected to flower. Threshold levels pay farmers $5 per acre planted and scale as high as $100 per acre at the top of the range. Producers can find more information about the program from Brevant.
Corteva’s Heat Advantage is a coverage unique to Nexera’s oleic acid-rich canola, which protects the canola in the critical flowering phase of growth, according to Bunge Grain Marketing Specialist Andrea Hildebrand, “No other canola seed on the market has that available.”
“Where Nexera is truly unique is in the programming,” said Hildebrand. “You can price your Nexera, even before it’s in the ground, totally risk-free with our Act of God Protection and Heat Advantage programs run by Corteva.”
In the Act of God Protection, Bunge covers replacement costs for the grower’s first eleven bushels per acre in the contract in the event of hail, flood, wind, or other natural factors that could destroy the crop.
Addressing Common Growing Considerations with Nexera
Overall, the Nexera varieties have solid agronomics, according to Hildebrand. “They have good yield potential with an excellent disease package that resists club root, black leg, and fusarium wilt,” she said. “In this respect, it solves common growing considerations farmers are accustomed to.”
The program includes select varieties, which Friesen categorized as “two Roundup Ready varieties and two Clearfield varieties.” At harvest, moisture content should stand at the commodity standard of ten percent or less, “otherwise, normal discounts apply,” he said.
The growing practices differ in the contract’s requirement for identity preservation procedures.
“You just need proper crop rotation, a fairly clean field, and a decent storage facility that doesn’t contain contaminants, such as other varieties of canola,” Hildebrand said.
Nexera is planted with a standard planter or air seeder that has been cleaned out. The same goes for harvest; farmers must clean harvesting and handling equipment of residual commodity canola before harvesting Nexera.
Bunge tests shipments arriving at its processing facilities with near-infra-red identity verification as part of the identity preservation process. “It’s pretty rare to have a load rejected,” said Friesen. “When it does happen, there is usually a common reason – loading from the wrong bin. It’s just a matter of returning and changing things for the right product.”
Why Oleic Acid-Rich Canola with Bunge?
Bunge operates the world’s largest oilseed crushing network with more than 200 years of experience creating sustainable products and opportunities for more than 70,000 farmers worldwide.
How does this cumulative experience benefit the individual farmer? Olfert explained the company’s scale offers farmers flexibility, reliability, efficiency, and support that other processors have difficulty matching.
“For example, during harvest, Bunge canola processing facilities accept deliveries daily, Monday through Friday,” Olfert said. “For Nexera growers, Bunge saves you time and expense by picking up your oilseed, then goes one step farther by crushing Nexera one week each month to ensure your delivery timeline.”
Bunge’s commitment to its customers produces a lot of loyalty. “We do get a lot of repeat growers,” Hildebrand said. “Mostly because they are taken care of when they grow Nexera, as there are many steps along the way. During seeding, we reach out with a spring survey to see that the acres went in the ground. At midsummer, we check in to see how the crop is growing, and at harvest, we follow up with a questionnaire to see how things went or address any concerns,” she said.
“Growers like to come back because there’s a partnership with Bunge throughout the growing and marketing seasons, where we support them with regular help to market their crop properly,” she added.
Getting Started With Nexera
Getting started growing Nexera is easy, Olfert said. “The program is available to farmers around Bunge processing facilities and all of the Bunge crushing plants in Western Canada.” Bunge has plants in Altona and Harrowby in Manitoba, Nipawin in Saskatchewan, and Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta.
Producers can review detailed program information on bungeag.com, a website dedicated to farmers in North America, including a link to the current Nexera Canola Production Program and a request form for formal program details.
Partnering with Bunge and Nexera positions farmers to provide products to consumers with health benefits, including a positive impact on their cholesterol that isn’t present in regular canola oil. Foodservice manufacturers benefit from a shelf-stable edible oil high in monounsaturated fat. Producers profit from the created demand; while working with a partner committed to service and protection from high heat and other growing concerns. This commitment to health, sustainability, service, and profit sets Bunge apart for today’s farmers.