Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for Fuel

Latest Industry News

About USCA

 




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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

On Sept. 30, the 2008 Farm Bill governing many of our nation’s farm policies expired and the 2012 Farm Bill needed to replace it is still bottled up in Congress. While the Senate and House Agriculture Committees passed versions of the new farm bill, the full House was unable to do so. Expiration of the farm bill has terminated a number of important programs and will adversely affect many farmers and ranchers as well as ongoing market development and conservation efforts. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) was one of 14 agricultural groups to issue a statement about the impact of not having an active farm bill.

Canola flowers The USCA also submitted comments to the Oregon Department of Agriculture in favor of its proposed rule to allow limited and controlled canola production in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. This acreage would help reduce the national deficit in canola production, which has never come close to matching demand. In 2012, it’s estimated that the U.S. will import over 70 percent of its canola oil consumed and consumption is expected to continue to rise exponentially. The Washington Post noted that the flap in Oregon over canola production also involves organic food lovers and biodiesel advocates.

Agronomy

The Seattle Times reported that canola is one of the prettiest crops in Washington’s Columbia Basin and it could become one of its fastest growing, thanks to good prices and the announcement of a new processing plant in Warden, Wash. Locals hope the plant, which is slated to produce food-grade oil, will continue to spur the growth of Washington canola.

The Oklahoma Oilseed Commission has agreed to fund $65,000 in canola research at Oklahoma State University with the goal of providing practical results producers can observe. The project will address soil fertility, insect and disease control and variety performance in fields across Oklahoma. Canola is one of that state’s most in-demand and viable crops, the commission said. In 2009, producers planted 40,000 acres of canola; 150,000 acres were planted in the fall of 2011 with significantly more expected this year.

SeederWinter canola will be planted on 250,000 acres across the Southern Plains this fall, according to estimates from the Producers Cooperative Oil Mill (PCOM) in Oklahoma City, Okla. According to Gene Neuens of PCOM, a lot of seed companies sold out of winter canola seed this year. The harvested crop can be sold to local elevators, PCOM and Archer Daniels Midland, which has a processing mill in Kansas, noted the Southwest Farmpress.

Nutrition

Canola oil, which is high in omega-3 fat, may help prevent colon cancer, explains Dr. Mehmet Oz. In a video posted on health site Sharecare, he cites a recent study that showed a diet rich in canola oil, as opposed to corn oil, led to fewer and smaller colon tumors. “When it comes to keeping your colon healthy, canola oil is a smarter choice,” he says.

Canola oil is one of the world’s most popular cooking oils, points out About.com, a go-to reference site owned by The New York Times. The lengthy article by a nutrition writer covers canola oil’s health benefits (low in saturated fat, high in omega-3), versatility in the kitchen (light flavor, high smoke point) and the best place to store it (a cool, dark shelf).

In the Wisconsin State Journal, a physician explained how vegetarians can get the nutrients they need from non-meat sources. Those who don’t eat fish and eggs can be at risk of not getting enough omega-3 fat, so the doctor recommends canola oil as a plant-based source of it. Omega-3 fat cannot be produced by the body so it is important to include as part of a balanced diet. 

Oil for Fuel

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has come up with a way of improving the efficiency of biodiesel extraction: repurposing near infrared reflectance spectroscopy equipment – a type of chemical measurement device – to test the oil within seeds within an error of 0.5 to 0.73 percent. This will allow for optimizing the seed-crushing machinery to deal with each harvest's slightly unique oil composition. The ARS focused on canola, which is an excellent biodiesel feedstock, using 226 canola samples from Oregon, Washington and Montana.

Canola oil Whole Foods announced that it began using recycled canola oil from its own industrial fryers to help fuel a custom-designed generator that powers the company’s commercial kitchen. At the Whole Foods Market commissary in Everett, Mass., the canola oil used to prepare zucchini fritters and breaded chicken cutlets sold at the grocery chain’s regional stores is no longer just an ingredient. Whole Foods is recycling the used oil and the biofuel runs a generator that provides nearly all the electricity for the company’s 70,000-square-foot building.

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, 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 Industry News

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.

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 submission details online and make it snappy: the deadline 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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