The Senate passed bill S. 3240, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, by a vote of 64-35 on June 21. With the current farm bill scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, all attention has now turned towards the House Agriculture Committee, where Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) has scheduled a mark-up of the House version of the farm bill on July 11. The legislation, under regular order, must pass both chambers, be reconciled into a single conference report and then passed by both chambers again before being signed into law by President Obama. Read how this bill stacks up against current law.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported on June 29 record canola acreage plantings for 2012. The 1.631 million acres reported is a 52 percent increase from the 1.071 million-acre 2011 crop year, which was plagued by prevented plantings, and a 13 percent increase from the 1.449 million acres planted in 2010. This year's canola crop also tops the previous record acreage year of 2000, when 1.555 million acres were planted.
With the winter canola harvest wrapped up in the Great Plains, Oklahoma is abuzz with confirmed yields of up to 60 bushels (3,000 lbs) per acre, which equates to gross returns of $800 per acre. Yields of 30-40 bushel (1,500-2,000 lbs) per acre were common in northern Oklahoma and winter canola is expected to continue its exponential acreage expansion in the region in 2013. The 8th annual Oklahoma-Kansas Winter Canola Conference will be in Enid, Okla., on July 26 and in Altus, Okla., on July 31 from 8 am to 1 pm. Topics will include the economics of wheat-canola rotations; winter canola varieties, insects and diseases; production management; fertilizing canola in-furrow and pH effects; insurance; field demonstrations and more.
Dr. Curtis Rempel has been appointed vice president of crop production at the Canola Council of Canada and will begin work there on July 17. He comes from the Richardson Centre Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he was research and development manager. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at the university.
A bowl of colorful, fresh vegetables just got even healthier with a splash of canola oil. Purdue University researchers found dressings containing canola oil best facilitated the absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids, which are associated with lower risk for certain cancers, heart disease and the age-related eye condition macular degeneration. Published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the study found that people who ate dressings made with soybean oil or butter had to eat far more dressing to get the same nutritional benefit as the canola oil-based dressing. “Carotenoids and other fat-soluble nutrients are poorly absorbed from fat-free diets,” Marion Nestle, Ph.D., nutrition professor at New York University, told WebMD. “So this study provides confirming evidence that it's best to eat a diet balanced in fats as well as proteins and carbohydrates.”
With summer temperatures on the rise, a refreshing salad makes a great meal. Whipping up a homemade salad dressing is easy with light and heart-healthy canola oil. Azcentral.com recommended keeping canola oil on hand due to its mild taste and low saturated fat content. Check out CanolaInfo’s “Get Dressed for Summer” recipe collection featuring salad dressings made with canola oil.
Oil for Fuel
Northstar Agri Industries’new canola crushing facility at Hallock, Minn., is up and running with the capacity to crush about 345 thousand tons of canola per year. The oilseed will be sourced from Minnesota and southern Manitoba, with at least 40 percent of it coming from Canada in the next two to three years. “We do hope that Minnesota acreage will rebound in the two- to three-, maybe five-year time horizon, back up to that 200 thousand acre level, but even then, we still expect at least 100 thousand tons will come out of Canada,” says Neil Juhnke, Northstar president and COO.
U.S. biodiesel production has ignited in 2012 with 241 million gallons produced during the first quarter of 2012, reported the Los Angeles Times. This is a 169 percent increase over the same period in 2010, the year the industry suffered a temporary loss of federal tax credits and 52 of the nation’s 170 biodiesel plants were idled. Most of the biodiesel was derived from soybean oil, followed by canola oil, yellow grease and corn oil. Production largely came from six states in order of annual production capacity: Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, California and Pennsylvania.
Latest Industry News
Cargill Specialty Canola Oils marked its 20th year of working with farmers to grow VICTORY high-oleic canola in Canada and the U.S. “Consumer packaged goods and foodservice companies have long relied on Cargill to be their supplier of specialty oils as they meet growing consumer demand for healthier products – and this is particularly important during times of market volatility," said Cargill President Jenny Verner.
Richardson Oilseed Limited has released a high-oleic canola oil with natural antioxidants for food manufacturers looking to increase product shelf life. The oil is a “natural fit” for snack foods, such as croutons, crackers and dried fruit. "Our goal is to provide our customers with functional products that retain the original flavour and texture of their products, ultimately satisfying customer demand for healthier food products that taste good," according to John Haen, Richardson's vice president of nutrition. Richardson also announced that it is increasing crush capacity at its canola processing plant in Yorkton, Sask., by 25 percent due to growing demand for Canadian canola products.
The Dow Chemical Company announced Omega-9 Oils as its first stride in its “breakthrough to world challenges,” addressing one of the company’s 2015 sustainability goals in health. Omega-9 Oils contain no trans fat and have the least saturated fat among common cooking oils. Since 2005, Omega-9 Oils have eliminated more than one billion pounds of trans and saturated fat from the North American diet. Derived from Dow AgroSciences’ NEXERA™ canola and sunflower seeds, Omega-9 Oils are geared towards the commercial food sector. Dow’s 2015 goals include introducing at least three breakthroughs that significantly help solve world challenges in the areas of food, water, energy and climate change, housing and health.
Enter the fourth annual U.S. Canola Digest photo contest for the opportunity to win cash prizes and have your photo published in the magazine! Check out www.uscanola.com for submission details and make it snappy: the deadline for submission is Nov. 1, 2012. Winning submissions are determined in early December and published in the January/February edition of U.S. Canola Digest.