Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for the Environment

Latest Industry News

About the USCA

 






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A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its Prospective Plantings report that estimated canola plantings at a record high 1.61 million acres in 2011, up 11 percent from 2010. Of the six major canola-producing states, acreage is predicted to increase in four, including North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon. Oklahoma’s acreage is expected to increase by 64 percent and North Dakota is slated to plant a record high 1.4 million acres.

Congress is working on a new Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund government operations through the end of fiscal year 2011, focusing on 12 percent of the federal budget represented by domestic discretionary spending. The House passed a CR in February that would cut $5.2 billion from agriculture-related programs, including a 15 percent cut in research. On March 4, Congress and the President agreed on a two-week CR that expired on March 18 and cut $4 billion, then another three-week CR that cut an additional $6 billion, including $179 million from agriculture research by eliminating earmarks. The three-week CR expires on April 8 and the difference between the House Republicans and the Senate Democrats is now $51 billion. Failure to reach agreement will result in a government shutdown, except for essential services. 

Agronomy

A team of French and Australian scientists announced they sequenced the genome of the blackleg fungus, which infects canola crops worldwide and typically causes significant damage. The lead researcher from the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne told The Land that identifying the 12,500 genes in the genetic blueprint of the fungus is a significant step towards controlling blackleg.

Nutrition

In the February 2011 issue of Prevention magazine (India edition), a Harvard research cardiologist discussed cooking oils and dietary fats. Partially hydrogenated oils should be banned due to their trans fat content, he said, but liquid oils with high amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3s should be an integral part of a diet. The doctor recommended canola oil because it contains high amounts of good fats and has a high smoke point.

A recent study published in the American Society for Nutrition found that when a group of 16 healthy, older adults consumed omega-3 fat for eight weeks, they had an increase in muscle formation, causing the researchers to advocate the consumption of omega-3s for the prevention and treatment of age-related muscle loss. A Harvard professor of cardiovascular disease and prevention recommends that everyone eat one source of omega-3s a day, such as walnuts, salmon, flaxseed or canola oil. 

Oil for the Environment

A 24-hour biodiesel fueling station from SunPower Biodiesel opened in Cumberland, Wis., in March. The credit card-controlled fueling station will run seven days a week and features three blends of cold-flow biodiesel made with canola oil. Canola is attractive to the company because of its shorter crop rotation and competitive price.

Latest Industry News

European tire manufacturer Nokian announced the launch of two new tire lines, WR D3 and WR A3, designed for varying types of winter weather and made with a new cryogenic canola compound. The innovative compound combines rubber, silica and canola oil that the company says will optimize wet grip and wear resistance in varying temperatures. 

About the USCA

The U.S. Canola Association had its biannual board and membership meetings March 28-30 in Washington, D.C. Topics of discussion included canola biodiesel, the 2012 Farm Bill, research, Salmonella and canola meal and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. The fifth annual “Canola on Capitol Hill” reception with a Route 66 theme drew 400 attendees, primarily Congressional staff involved in agriculture.

 

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