The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced Sept. 30 the distribution of regional grants totaling $779,081 for the FY2011 National Canola Research Program. Lead institutions receiving funding were: North Dakota State University, $170,000; Kansas State University, $165,000; Oklahoma State University, $154,000; University of Idaho, $150,000; and Alabama A&M, $140,081.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it has approved Canadian canola as a feedstock for biodiesel production in the U.S., which will allow U.S.-produced biodiesel made with Canadian canola to be sold within the U.S. The EPA's designation of Canadian canola as a renewable biomass will allow U.S. biofuel makers to collect tax credits for using it.
Recent canola trials at Fresno State University proved successful, reported the Central Valley Business Times. The trials took place west of the San Joaquin Valley, which has a problem with high-selenium irrigation water. Canola and mustard crops, which have some natural tolerance to selenium, were planted in the high-selenium area and yielded more than 300 tons of seed. In the second phase of the project, the harvested seed was pressed for oil and diesel fuel blending and in the final phase, successful trials were conducted at Fresno State Dairy where canola meal provided cattle with adequate amounts of selenium.
Graduate students at Iowa State University are researching the advantages of growing more canola in their state, where corn and soybeans are the main crops, reported Radio Iowa. In addition to being used for cooking oil or fuel, winter canola offers farmers a marketable annual crop to fill in the gaps when corn and soybeans aren’t growing, the article noted.
Food Consumer reported that researchers from Marshall University presented findings at the Era of Hope Conference in August that the offspring of mice fed a diet of “sufficient amounts of canola oil” had gene profiles linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. This positive research is similar to studies from North Dakota State University, which discovered comparable findings.
When the doctor diagnoses you with high cholesterol, changing lifestyle habits can be invaluable, said an article in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. Improving heart health can be done in the following ways: limit portion sizes, up your fruit and vegetable intake, eat more fish and nuts, and use a healthy, everyday cooking oil like canola. The unsaturated fats in canola oil can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol.
Oil for the Environment
In a project called “Fuel the Force,” 800 gallons of canola biodiesel will be shipped to Camp Lejeune, a large Marine Corps base in North Carolina, reported the Southeast Farm Press. Canola was grown on five plots with the help of North Carolina State University’s extension service. Major General Carl Jensen praised the project, saying it is a “first step toward breaking the military’s dependence on petrochemicals” and will help the military meet a federal mandate to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015. It could also help growers expand a new market for the canola crop in this region.
Chron.comreported on Pennsylvania farmer David Brown, who is growing canola and processing it into biodiesel to power his own farm equipment. Brown learned how to grow canola through the aide of Penn State’s Ag Progress Days and crop researchers at Pennsylvania State University, which is currently conducting a canola biodiesel experiment of its own.
Latest Industry News
TheHuffington Post reported last month that demand for canola is on the rise in the U.S., which could be met by domestic production. “By growing more winter canola, industry officials believe canola acres in the U.S. could more than triple,” the article said. The U.S. used more than 3 billion pounds of canola oil in 2010, with 2.5 billion worth imported from Canada. Even though there are challenges to growing winter canola, rotating it with other crops in soil that would otherwise sit dormant could add a revenue source for farmers and add nutrients to the soil.
About U.S. Canola
In an interview with the Voice of Agriculture, U.S. Canola Association Communications Director Angela Dansby said while consumer demand for canola oil is greatly increasing, the U.S. still only produces about 25 percent of its demand. The good news is, Dansby said, there is “tremendous potential” for canola in the U.S. due to its heart-healthy advantages and agronomic characteristics – and more regions around the country are growing the crop and receiving education on it.