Canada’s Growing Soybean Industry

Soybeans are now the third largest field crop in Canada in terms of farm cash receipts. As production and processing grow, Canada is becoming a more important soybean supplier and soybeans are becoming a more important force in the Canadian economy.

Growth driven by innovation

Canadian farmers have grown soybeans for more than 70 years, and recent advances in plant breeding are spurring on a new surge in production. Soybeans now rank fourth among Canada’s principal crops in terms of acreage.

This growth has been driven by the development of new early-maturing soybean varieties that are expanding the boundaries of where the crop can thrive. Until the 1970s, almost all of Canada’s soybeans were grown in southern Ontario. Today soybeans have become an important crop in Quebec and Manitoba, as well as parts of the Maritimes, southeast Saskatchewan and southern Alberta.

Expanding range of products for global customers

Traditionally, Canada has exported top-quality food-grade soybeans with specialty traits for edamame, tofu, soy sauce and miso. The industry is continuing to serve this premium market while rapidly increasing its production of commodity soybeans for processing into soy protein, vegetable oil, animal feed and a growing range of industrial products.

Nearly two-thirds of the soybeans grown in Canada are destined for export markets, either as raw soybeans or processed for end use. The Canadian industry works closely with customers around the world to ensure their needs for quality and composition are met.

Thousands of Canadians working to deliver quality

The full value chain of the Canadian soybean industry extends from the research lab to the farm to the shipping port.

Long before the farmer plants the seed, many Canadian businesses and organizations are focused on the development of new traits, varieties and crop management technologies.

On the farm, this knowledge is put to work growing soybeans that meet customer specifications, using techniques that respect Canada’s productive and pristine natural resources. After harvest, other industry partners move the soybeans from farms to grain elevators and then through the cleaning, sorting and grading process.

Most Canadian soybeans are then delivered to one of Canada’s large coastal shipping ports for export to offshore markets. The remaining soybeans are transported to Canadian processing plants for transformation into meal and oil, and then end-use products for the consumer and industrial markets.

Regulation and quality control are also essential to the industry. Organizations like the Canadian Grain Commission oversee testing and monitoring to ensure high standards are met for all customers.

The impact of this activity extends all through the Canadian economy. Through Soy Canada, all industry partners are working together to maximize the progress and value of the industry.