Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for Fuel

Latest Fun

About USCA

 






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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) wrote to state departments of agriculture on July 23 to increase awareness about the quality differentials of oil and meal derived from canola seed, industrial rapeseed and other members of the Brassica family. According to the letter, there is a “need to keep canola and its crush products segregated from industrial rapeseed and its crush products.” The USCA recommended that identity-preserved or closed loop production systems be officially enforced with continual quality control checks for any industrial rapeseed produced or processed in each state.

The House is scheduled to vote on a $300 million agricultural disaster package on Aug. 2 to assist livestock producers affected by this year’s ongoing drought. Offsets will come from cuts to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program. Rather than take up the 2012 Farm Bill, which included disaster aid, the House leadership decided to attach disaster assistance to an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, but fell back to the stand-alone bill when it became clear votes were not there to pass the extension.    


Agronomy

Michigan is on the list of canola-growing states. Michigan State Univeristy (MSU) launched its Canola Project in 2008, bringing together farmers, biofuel production experts, MSU professors and extension agents to establish the state as one of the nation’s biofuel leaders. Research efforts have resulted in varieties that can be grown in both the winter and spring. Future goals include increasing canola acreage and cooking oil refining in Michigan as well as exploring ways to improve the efficiency of biofuel production.

Thanks to support from the National Sclerotinia Initiative, Northern Canola Growers Association and Minnesota Canola Council, the Sclerotinia Risk in Canola Forecast Program was developed by North Dakota State University. The program serves as a general risk map and risk calculator for sclerotinia. From mid-June through the canola flowering period, the risk map is updated twice a week using weather information to estimate the risk of sclerotinia development throughout the canola-growing areas in Minnesota and North Dakota. The risk calculator combines information on cultural practices, the field history of sclerotinia and weather reports from North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network stations to estimate a field’s disease risk.

Mycogen Seeds will offer three NEXERA® canola hybrids – 1016 RR, 1012 RR and 2012 CL – for the 2013 growing season. Adapted to the northern canola-growing areas of the U.S., 1016 RR is a medium-tall hybrid with resistance to fusarium wilt and blackleg. 1012 RR provides the additional benefit of an advanced weed control option. 2012 CL is a medium-tall hybrid with resistance to fusarium wilt and moderate resistance to blackleg.


Nutrition

With all the health and nutrition information out there, it can be difficult to separate the facts from the fluff. David Grotto, R.D., L.D.N., debunked some myths about canola, such as that it is rapeseed, originally created by biotechnology and produces an unhealthy oil, in his WebMD blog. “In fact, [canola] seeds produce an oil rich in monounsaturated fats but containing the least amount of saturated fat of any cooking oil,” he said. Grotto also noted the different types of canola oil and how canola oils stack up against other oils in heat tolerance.

According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of the most important health decisions you will make is which cooking oil to use. Canola oil was featured on the “Dr. Oz Show” as one of the five essential, healthy cooking oils to have at home. Oils high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fat made the list, with canola oil having the least saturated fat of all popular cooking oils. “There shouldn’t be anybody in America who doesn’t have a bottle of olive oil and canola oil in their kitchens,” he said.  “Canola oil is a bit more stable than olive oil. That’s the main cooking oil I use.”

Researchers are studying how dietary components, such as omega-3 fat, may reduce damaging inflammation in the body. New research shows a link between chronic inflammation and a variety of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer. Inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury, can become harmful when a poor diet, smoking and excess weight cause inflammation to become chronic. The Wall Street Journal and American Heart Association note that canola oil is a good source of omega-3 fat


Oil for Fuel

Pennsylvania State University’s Sustainable Dairy Cropping Systems has an ongoing research project to examine dairy farm sustainability. Since 2010, the study has simulated a 240-acre Pennsylvania dairy farm by growing crops on 12 acres of Penn State's Agronomy Research Farm, using a computer program to model herd management. Canola has been included in crop rotations to produce fuel for a farm tractor, which is being evaluated for its performance. After being extracted, canola oil is put straight into the tractor with no need to convert it to biodiesel. The leftover canola meal serves as a feed for the farm's dairy cows.


Latest Fun

A playful spin on the classic cupcake also proves to be a little healthier thanks to canola oil. The Detroit Free Press ditches butter for canola oil in its Piña Colada Cupcakes recipe. Other healthy ingredients include egg whites and pineapple. Each cupcake contains only 1 gram of saturated fat and no trans fat or cholesterol.

Aaron Crumbaugh, chef/operator of Wagyu Wagon food truck in Chicago, appeared on the morning news at ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV) on July 6 to demonstrate how to make heart-healthy summer recipes with canola oil. His recipes included grilled salmon and a roasted beet and green bean salad with citrus vinaigrette. Canola oil’s light texture and neutral taste makes it the perfect ingredient for summer dishes. For more recipes from Crumbaugh and other food truck chefs from around the U.S., check out CanolaInfo’s Street Eats Recipe Collection


About USCA

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 will be determined in early December and published in the January/February 2013 U.S. Canola Digest.

 

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