Seed, Meal and Oil
Canola seeds come from pods of canola plants and are crushed to produce oil and meal. Each seed contains about 45 percent oil. This large percentage of oil comes in a small package; canola seeds are similar in size to poppy seeds, though brownish-black in color.
Canola meal is one of the most widely used protein sources in animal feed for livestock, poultry and fish. It has an excellent amino acid profile, including high levels of lysine and arginine, and it is rich in vitamins and essential minerals.
Studies have shown that including canola meal in dairy cow rations can increase milk production by one liter per cow per day. Canola meal also provides an alternative to traditional fish meal ingredients and can help create a more stable feed supply.
For plants, canola meal can serve as a bio-herbicide and high-quality fertilizer that are suitable for organic farming. For humans, canola proteins from the meal can give functionality and nutrition to food products.
Canola oil is the third most consumed oil in the world and number two by volume in the United States. But it is number one in health everywhere.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service published prices U.S. farmers received for oilseed, vegetable oil and meal in October 2012. Canola-specific pricing history is in the following PDFs.