The Economic Impact of Canadian Biodiesel Production on Canadian Grains, Oilseeds and Livestock Producers
Final Report

The purpose of this study, which was published in 2006, was to provide the Canadian Canola Growers Association with an understanding of the economic impact of the mandated use of biodiesel blends produced in Canada.

The analysis focused specifically on the oilseed sector and the rendered animal fats industry. The objectives were:

• To establish what is currently known with regard to the economic impacts of biodiesel development.

• To determine the nature of markets for candidate feedstocks that could be used in manufacturing biodiesel.

• To estimate the economic effects of a 2% biodiesel blend requirement in petroleum diesel.

• To estimate the economic effects of a 5% biodiesel blend requirement in petroleum diesel.

• To determine the ultimate impact on the Canadian canola industry of the mandated biodiesel blend

To meet the above objectives, the following was undertaken. First, a review of previous research in biodiesel was completed.

Secondly, an analysis of the major feedstock markets was undertaken. Finally, an empirical analysis of least cost feedstock procurement was completed.

The results showed the following:

First, the review of previous research suggested that biodiesel can be made from a range of feedstocks. The two key factors influencing the success of biodiesel manufacturing facilities were feedstock prices and feedstock availability.

Previous work suggested that the key competitors facing canola oil in the biodiesel market are rendered oils (yellow grease), rendered animal fats (tallow), palm oil, and soybean oil.

Some discussion exists of using minor vegetable oils such as mustard seed oil, but these appear to be preliminary. The literature suggested that canola and soybean oil are apt to be relatively high cost feedstocks for biodiesel production.


Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference Foundation

The ABIC Foundation is overseen by a board of directors with representation from several countries.

It is a not-for-profit corporation based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The ABIC Foundation was formed June 12, 1998, following the successful completion of ABIC ’98. It was established to secure the continued success of the ABIC series.

The Foundation’s goal is to ensure ongoing opportunities for continuous learning and networking within the agbiotech community through the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference.


The ABIC Foundation is managed by Ag-West Bio Inc.

Ag-West Bio can be contacted at:

101 - 111 Research Drive, Saskatoon SK S7N 3R2 CANADA

Phone: 306-975-1939
Fax: 306-975-1966

Ag-West Bio's focus centers on products derived from living organisms with market applications in agricultural, environmental, industrial, energy and bio-processing, and health and nutrition markets.

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Governmennt of Canada invests
in development of on-farm bio-diesel plant

RIDGETOWN, ON –– The Government of Canada is bringing biofuel technologies to Canadian farms. Federal funding of $938,260 is being provided to develop a functional, farm-scale oilseed processing and biodiesel plant at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus that will be used for technology demonstrations, education, and applied research.

Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent—Essex, made the announcement last June on behalf of the Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"The Government of Canada is taking real action for our farm families, our environment and our economy," said Mr. Van Kesteren. "We are standing up for farmers by providing on-farm solutions that allow farmers to combat rising fuel costs and input costs".

In partnership with local soybean and pork producers, the "real-life" operation of this plant will help determine the optimum model and scale of an economically viable on-farm biodiesel facility. The facility will provide an independent evaluation platform for the economic structure and feasibility of a small-scale, closed-loop system of biodiesel production.

Small-scale biodiesel production on farms using soybeans will be evaluated at The University of Guelph. soybean field
Photo: Karl Ohm

Another objective of this five-year project is to investigate alternate feedstock such as waste and residues, unmarketable crops, and agri-processing by-products that may be used as energy crops while assessing environmental considerations.

"The University of Guelph is delighted with the federal investment supporting the work to be undertaken at the Ridgetown Campus as part of the strategic plan of the Ontario Agricultural College of the University," said Art Schaafsma, Director, Ridgetown Campus.

"The University is keen to engage producers in the bioeconomy, an important and strategic area of research and development at Guelph, not only to add value at the farm gate by biofuel in the form of biodiesel production and utilization, but also by exploring opportunities to add value to byproduct streams."

An important component of this "real life" project will be communications and outreach. Through teaching, on-site demonstrations, and on-farm consultations, the project will help to evolve biofuels and their applications.

The University of Guelph will collaborate with a wide range of agricultural schools and organizations to use existing expertise and hire a biofuels specialist and a technician to demonstrate, develop and extend biofuels technologies to the farm.

"The outcomes of this project will have many benefits to the agricultural sector," said Kim Turnbull, Agricultural Adaptation Council Chair. "The framework and benchmarks created through this project will assist farmers in determining the feasibility of undertaking their own farm-scale biofuels operation."

The federal contribution for the project is provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Advancing Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food program, which is delivered in Ontario by the Agricultural Adaptation Council on behalf of the federal government.

Besides soybeans, rapeseed is another abundant and valuable crop that is being used in biodiesel fuel production. rapeseed field
Photo: Karl Ohm

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