Quality of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans 2022

Oil and protein content

In 2022, the mean oil content was 22.0% on a dry basis (19.1% at 13% moisture) for the No. 1 and No. 2 soybean composite for all samples. These values are similar to the 2021 means (22.3% on a dry basis, 19.4% at 13% moisture) and the 5-year means (21.7% on a dry basis, 18.9% at 13% moisture) (Table 1). The oil content of individual samples ranged from 19.5% to 24.8% on a dry basis and 17.0% to 21.6% at 13% moisture. Figure 4 shows the oil content trends for eastern Canada, western Canada and all of Canada since 2006.

The mean protein content for the No. 1 and No. 2 soybean composite for all samples was 38.9% on a dry basis and 33.8% at 13% moisture (Table 1). These values are slightly higher than the results in 2021 (38.6% on a dry basis and 33.6% at 13% moisture) but similar to the 5-year means (38.7% on a dry basis and 33.7% at 13% moisture). The protein content of the eastern Canada composite (38.9%) was identical to that of the western Canada composite (38.9%) and higher than the Maritimes composite (37.7%) (Table 3). For the top two grades combined, the protein content of individual samples ranged from 33.8% (29.7% at 13% moisture) to 43.3% (37.7% at 13% moisture). Figure 2 shows the protein content trends from eastern and western Canada since 2006. Mean protein content in western Canadian samples has been consistently lower and has slightly more yearly variability than mean protein content in samples from eastern Canada.

Figure 2  Seed protein content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022

Figure 2 Seed protein content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022
  • Details
    Protein content (%, dry basis)
      2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
    Western Canada 36.0 35.5 37.8 37.0 37.4 36.5 36.4 39.6 37.3 38.1 38.7 37.1 37.3 36.8 37.6 35.9 38.9
    Eastern Canada 40.6 40.6 41.0 40.5 41.0 39.1 40.1 40.5 40.5 40.1 40.6 39.6 39.4 39.3 38.3 40.6 38.9
    Canada 39.9 39.8 40.3 39.7 39.9 38.1 39.3 40.2 39.6 39.6 40.1 38.6 38.9 38.4 38.3 38.7 38.9

Figure 3 presents the protein content of fully defatted soybean meal. The protein content of the defatted soybean meal from western Canada is slightly lower (49.4%) than that in samples from eastern Canada (50.2%).

Figure 3  Defatted meal protein content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022

Figure 3  Defatted meal protein content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022
  • Details
    Defatted meal protein content (%, dry basis)
    Region 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
    Western Canada 46.9 45.4 48.3 47.4 47.7 47.3 46.7 50.2 47.0 48.3 48.9 47.1 47.6 46.5 47.8 46.3 49.4
    Eastern Canada 51.5 52.0 52.3 51.1 52.1 49.8 51.2 51.2 51.2 51.1 52.1 49.9 50.8 49.9 49.8 52.1 50.2
    Canada 50.8 50.9 51.4 50.3 50.7 48.8 50.3 50.9 50.1 50.4 51.2 48.8 50.0 48.6 49.0 49.7 49.9

Figure 4  Seed oil content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022

Figure 4  Seed oil content (%, dry basis) of Canadian oilseed-type soybeans from 2006 to 2022
  • Details
    Oil content (%, dry basis)
    Region 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
    Western Canada 23.2 21.8 21.8 22.0 21.6 22.9 22.0 21.0 20.6 21.1 20.8 21.3 21.6 20.9 21.3 22.4 21.3
    Eastern Canada 21.1 21.9 21.6 20.7 21.2 21.4 21.8 21.0 21.0 21.6 22.0 20.7 22.4 21.2 22.0 22.1 22.5
    Canada 21.5 21.9 21.6 21.1 21.4 22.0 21.9 21.0 20.9 21.5 21.7 20.9 22.2 21.1 21.8 22.2 22.0

Environmental growing conditions are usually responsible for year-to-year variations, whereas genetics, or varietal differences, are usually responsible for trends over several years. A combination of genetics and environmental growing conditions is responsible for differences between eastern and western soybeans. Currently, breeding focuses primarily on yield and other agronomic factors. Quality factors, such as oil or protein content, are not considered when registering new soybean varieties in Canada.

Table 3  Oil, protein, chlorophyll and free fatty acid content of Soybeans, No. 1 Canada and Soybeans, No. 2 Canada composite samples according to province in 2022
Grade Province Number
of samples
Oil (%, dry basis) ProteinFootnote 1 (%, dry basis) Chlorophyll (mg/kgFootnote 4) Free fatty acids (%)Footnote 5
Mean Min.Footnote 2 Max.Footnote 3 Mean Min. Max.
Soybeans, No. 1 Canada and Soybeans, No. 2 Canada
Manitoba 90 21.3 19.5 23.3 38.9 34.5 43.3 0.50 0.15
Saskatchewan 7 21.1 20.6 22.4 38.5 36 40.5 1.10 0.02
Western Canada 97 21.3 19.5 23.3 38.9 34.5 43.3 0.50 0.15
Ontario 131 22.5 21.0 24.8 38.8 33.8 41.8 0.50 0.12
Quebec 24 22.5 21.1 23.7 39.6 37.6 42.0 0.50 0.12
Eastern Canada 155 22.3 19.1 24.9 40.3 33.1 45.0 0.21 0.10
Maritimes 4 22.5 21.0 24.8 38.9 33.8 42.0 0.50 0.05
Canada 256 22.0 19.5 24.8 38.6 33.8 43.3 0.50 0.13