14th International Rapeseed Congress (IRC 2015) July 5-9, 2015 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Once every four years, industry and research leaders gather from around the globe to discuss advances and challenges around rapeseed and canola. This summer, the 14th International Rapeseed Congress (IRC 2015) will be held in Saskatoon, SK, co-hosted by Ag-West Bio and the Canola Council of Canada.
IRC represents the most comprehensive global forum for research, development, commercialization and utilization of rapeseed and canola. Canada mainly grows canola, which was derived from rapeseed but has low levels of erucic acid and glucosinolates. The Congress attracts international scientists, students, government and industry managers, policy analysts and representatives of producer groups and trade associations.
The IRC 2015 format breaks the presentations into five themes:
- Breeding, genetics and genomics;
- Crop protection, biotic stress, biology of canola pathogens and insect pests
- Seed chemistry, processing and utilization
- Crop production, abiotic stress, environmental impact
- Economics, policies and trade
Information will be shared through keynote lectures, concurrent sessions on major topics, workshops on special issues, and posters covering a wide range of subjects.
Valuable networking opportunities, private meetings and field and research facility tours will round out the activities during the Congress. Tours in and around Saskatoon are also planned for visitors who are accompanying delegates.
Canada is the birthplace of canola, and Saskatoon’s own Keith Downey, one of the “Fathers of Canola,” will deliver the opening plenary. Downey helped to develop the first varieties of canola, bred from rapeseed using traditional plant breeding techniques.
Saskatoon is home to one of the most vibrant bioscience clusters in the world, and canola research is a major focus. Multinationals, such as Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroScience, Monsanto and Syngenta all have a research presence here, and public institutions continue to make strides in advancing the crop. For example, Isobel Parkin, a Saskatoon researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is part of an international team that has sequenced the Brassica napus genome. Parkin will present her research findings at the Congress.
Co-chairs of the steering committee, Wilf Keller, President and CEO of Ag-West Bio and Patti Miller, President of the Canola Council of Canada, liken this event to the ‘Olympics’ of rapeseed and canola, as the best and brightest in the industry participate in this event every four years.
Keller says this event should not be missed. “We look forward to hosting the scientists, hearing about their cutting-edge research, and the ideas and solutions to challenges in all areas of the industry, from genomics and agronomy, to utilization, policy and trade. Everyone involved in the rapeseed/canola industry should be booking a flight to Saskatoon to participate in this event.”