The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated about 2 million planted acres of canola in 2019 with production of around 3,600 pounds per acre and national average yield of nearly 1,900 pounds. This accounted for more than 7.2 billion pounds of canola production. Planting of canola in the United States first began in 1988 after being introduced in Canada in 1974. The charts below show dramatic increases in acreage and yield since 1991.
While North Dakota currently grows the lion’s share of U.S. canola, states in the Pacific Northwest, Southern Great Plains and mid-South are increasing acreage. Not only does canola provide high-value canola oil and meal, it benefits other crops like wheat in rotation by breaking up pest and disease cycles as well as provides ideal habitat for pollinators.
In 2019, the Northern Plains (North Dakota and Minnesota) produced 84 percent of canola with 1.75 million acres planted. The Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington) accounted for about 65,000 acres. States in the Southern Great Plains (Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas) and mid-South (Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas) accounted for the remainder of canola acreage.
While the Southern Great Plains had reached 400,000 planted canola acres in 2014, growers have been battling weather problems since that time. However, the region still holds promise for expanding canola acres. The mid-South is also expected to increase canola acreage as it supports the double cropping of soybeans or other spring-seeded crops, expanding the profitability and efficiency of farms. The Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest will likely further increase canola acreage as well.
To aid farmers growing canola, the USCA offers a production guide and other resources. Regional associations provide field tours, meetings and more.
Global canola/rapeseed production is estimated at 70 million tonnes. (About 97 percent of “rapeseed” grown in Europe is canola quality today.) Thanks to agricultural technologies, yields of canola/rapeseed have improved dramatically since 1961!