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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

Canadian canola meal shipments to the U.S. rose 17 percent from August through October 2010, Reuters reported, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looks to ease restrictions on imports of animal feed with Salmonella bacteria. The FDA posted a draft policy on its website last August that would limit its enforcement actions against animal feed shipments with Salmonella to those containing a few types of the bacteria known to cause disease in animals and poultry. In late 2010, Reuters reported that the FDA dropped ADM's canola crushing plant in Windsor, Ontario, from its list of plants on import alert.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has indicated it will immediately begin issuing phytosanitary certificates for shipments of all vegetable oils bound for China. APHIS has been issuing provisional phytosanitary certificates for soybean oil since June 2010 as it continues to negotiate a reversal of this requirement imposed by China in April 2009. This announcement means that canola and other vegetable oils that were being excluded from the Chinese market during these negotiations will now be eligible for shipment.

The USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would reward farmers participating in the federal crop insurance program for good performance. Under the program, payment amounts would vary by producer and be based on each qualified producer's history in the program. The RMA estimated that the average refund amount per producer this year will be $1,000. The program is intended to be available before the spring planting season.


Agronomy

Monsanto announced it added dicamba-tolerant canola to Phase 1 of its research and development pipeline. According to the company, dicamba tolerance will provide an additional herbicide mode of action, enhancing weed control options for canola growers. The R&D efforts are part of the Monsanto and BASF Plant Science collaboration, initiated in 2007 to jointly develop traits to improve farm productivity and profitability in canola and other crops.


Nutrition

Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S.; however, since the build-up of plaque in arteries is a long-term process, it can be prevented with a healthy diet, noted the Iowa State Daily. A well-rounded diet of high fiber, fruits and vegetables is imperative, said a dietitian at Iowa State University. Other recommendations include eating fish twice a week, reducing sodium intake and preparing food with healthy fat like canola oil.

While canola oil does not have Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the U.S. for infant foods and formulas, a new study out of Germany in Clinical Nutrition reported that "infant formulas containing canola oil have no adverse effects on infant growth, neither in weight nor in length compared to feeding a formula without canola oil." Data on the babies were compared at 4-5weeks, 3-4 months and 6-7 months of age.


Oil for the Environment

An Applegate, Mich., restaurant owner started Thumb BioEnergy, a self-made biodiesel processing facility where he reclaims and processes leftover oils, including canola, from 50 local restaurants. The Times-Herald (Port Huron, Mich.) reported the facility is capable of turning out 100 gallons of biodiesel per day, but owner Leon Jackson wants to boost the capacity to 400.


Latest Industry News

Minnesota Public Radio reported that Northstar AgriIndustries broke ground on a new $160 million canola crushing and processing plant in Hallock, Minn., in early January. The plant is expected to be operational by July 2012, producing nearly 300 million pounds of food-grade canola oil each year along with tons of canola meal. About 40 to 50 permanent jobs will be created.

Approximately 150 winter wheat growers from Oklahoma and Kansas attended Canola U in Midwest City, Okla., on Jan. 18, said Southwest Farm Press. "Instructors" included university agronomists, grain marketing experts and fellow farmers who have successfully grown canola. Dr. Tom Peeper, Oklahoma State University weed scientist emeritus, highlighted the advantages of canola in winter wheat rotations in the Southern Plains.


About People

Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) announced in January he will retire and not seek re-election in 2012 after 24 years in office. Conrad said he would like to focus on issues like dependence on foreign energy, fiscal responsibility and a new Farm Bill in his last two years in office.

Jim Miller, who served under U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, resigned in January. As of press time, a successor had not been named.


 

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