Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for the Environment

Latest Industry News

About USCA

 




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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

Congress is scheduled to finally consider an agreement (S. 365) that would raise the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion and cut spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Both will be in two+ steps: 1) $917 billion in discretionary spending cuts for FY 2012-21 with an immediate debt ceiling increase of $400 billion and an additional $500 billion later this year and 2) at least $1.2 billion in spending cuts divided evenly between defense and domestic spending with an additional debt ceiling increase of at least $1.2 trillion. No mandatory agricultural cuts are slated for the initial steps, but farm bill funding will come under fire in the second round of cuts.

The S. 365 legislation also proposes a joint committee to find the additional $1.2 trillion in spending cuts with their recommendation due by Thanksgiving and a guaranteed up or down vote with no amendments in both chambers by Dec. 23. If the committee fails or Congress doesn’t approve spending cuts of at least $1.2 trillion by the deadline, across-the-board cuts will be triggered automatically and evenly from defense and non-defense discretionary and mandatory spending. However, there will be exemptions for many low-income programs.

The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Aug. 1 regarding the agency’s 30-day request for public comment on agricultural transportation issues. The USCA urged the DOT to repeal current guidelines that define agricultural products and operations as interstate commerce, arguing this “could result in farmers being forced to obtain commercial drivers licenses, federal medical cards and more.”

Agronomy

The High Plains Journal touted the benefits of winter canola rotation. “We’ve seen a 20 percent yield boost in our wheat following canola, and it’s a whole system of crop rotation,” said Jeff Scott, president of the Great Plains Canola Association. The article also discusses the new practice of bagging and storing harvested canola in polyethylene bags, which Scott is currently testing.

Nutrition

Increased intake of omega-3 fats from plant and animal sources may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to three new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Intake of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 found in canola oil, was found to reduce the risk of diabetes by 21 percent in one of the two Chinese population studies with data from over 43,000 men and women.  

The National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining have teamed up on a voluntary initiative where restaurants create a special “Kids Live Well” menu section filled with healthy choices. The menu items must meet certain criteria, including less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat and less than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fat. More than 15,000 restaurants nationwide, such as Au Bon Pain, Burger King, IHOP and Chili’s, have joined the cause thus far.

Oil for the Environment

Inland Empire Oilseed’s canola-based biodiesel facility and adjacent canola crushing plant in Odessa, Wash., both resumed operations in June under the direction of a new general manager, reported Biodiesel Magazine. The plant crushes about 90 to 100 tons of canola per day. General Manager Joel Edmonds said he hopes to ramp up canola biodiesel production, but there is still uncertainly surrounding the soon-to-expire federal biodiesel blenders tax credit.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB), on which the U.S. Canola Association has representation, launched a television commercial at its annual board meeting in Washington D.C., in July. The ad spot is part of the Advanced Biofuel Initiative, a comprehensive, national media campaign designed to publicize biodiesel’s advantages as the nation’s first advanced biofuel as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The NBB hopes to reach its goal of 800 million gallons of biodiesel produced in 2011.

Latest Industry News

Legumex Walker, Inc. – recently formed from the merging of Roy Legumex Group and Walker Seeds, Ltd. – will build its first U.S. canola crushing plant in Warden, Wash., reported Grain News. It is expected to be completed by late 2012 and operational in 2013. The plant is expected to process 1,100 tons of canola per day and to produce 142,500 tons of canola oil and 227,000 tons of canola meal per year.

About USCA

Mark your calendars for the U.S. Canola Association's fall board meeting Nov. 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas. The USCA is now accepting online credit card payments for meeting registration as well as membership fees. Register here.

The deadline for U.S. Canola Digest’s annual “Lights, Camera, Canola!” contest has been extended to Wed., Aug. 10. Submit your best shot – close-up, panoramic, aerial, whatever you’ve got! For more information, official contest rules and to see an image gallery of previous winners, visit the U.S. Canola Association website.

 

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