Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil Production

Latest Events

About People

 


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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

With Congress back in session after the November election, farm groups are pushing for inclusion of a five-year farm bill in any legislative package that deals with the looming “fiscal cliff.” The Senate-approved farm bill would contribute $23 billion in deficit reduction while the version passed by the House Agricultural Committee would provide $35 billion in savings.  The 2008 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30, and most of production agriculture has reverted to “permanent farm law,” an arcane set of price supports and allotments dating back to the Depression era., Dairy farmers would see the first change on Jan. 1 when milk prices are set to double in price should Congress fail to act.  The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps) and crop insurance programs continue as is under separate permanent authorizations.

William Murphy, Risk Management Agency Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will retire in December after more than 30 years of work in Federal crop insurance, announced USDA Undersecretary Michael Scuse in an email to staff on Nov. 30.  In his four years as RMA Administrator, Murphy also served as Manager of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, helping to provide economic protection for farmers. “His legacy,” Scuse wrote, is a program “that’s sound for the taxpayer, and predictable and stable for U.S. producers.” Brandon Willis, currently senior advisor to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, has been named acting administrator for the interim.


Agronomy

Oklahoma farmers nearly doubled their planted acreage of winter canola this fall compared to the 2011 crop, reported Southwest Farm Press. Producers Cooperative Oil Mill (PCOM) in Oklahoma City estimates that growers in the state planted 250,000 acres of winter canola in October, compared to 25,000 acres in Texas and 35,000 acres in Kansas.  The three states together harvested more than 170,000 acres for the 2011-2012 crop. “Anything that helps farmers to successfully grow a crop and not cost a lot really gets their attention. Growing winter canola in rotation with wheat has proven to be a winning arrangement for them,” said PCOM’s Gene Neuens.

Prospective canola growers in Oklahoma learned best practices for managing the crop at two November seminars hosted by agricultural product and services company Winfield.  The sessions were held at the company’s Oklahoma test plots, part of its national “Answer Plot System” that establishes regional demonstration fields based on locally grown crops, according to the Oklahoma Farm Report and the November webisode of CanolaTV, which previewed the events.


Nutrition

Rich in healthy fats and stable at high temperatures, high-oleic acid canola oil is a growing industry favorite for food manufacturers, reports Food Processing. Consumers’ focus on health demands an oil that “works harder on multiple levels,” writes the magazine’s technical editor, pointing out that foods high in oleic acids reduce risk factors for heart disease.  For food manufacturers, high-oleic acid canola oil also boasts a smoke temperature is 475 degrees, making it suitable for many cooking applications.

Canola oil beats out vegetable oil hands-down for healthy cooking explains a November story posted on fitness magazine site Triathelete. The author and registered dietician pointed to canola’s low levels of omega-6 fats and high levels of omega-3 fats to help keep heart disease in check.  The reverse, “too many omega-6s and too few omega-3s can promote internal inflammation.”


Oil Production

Northstar Agri Industries announced plans in October to build a canola processing facility in Enid, Okla. Construction on the proposed plant is expected to begin in 2013 and completed in time for the 2015 canola harvest.  The facility will be able to process 760,000 tons of canola annually and include a refinery capable of producing 580 million pounds of food grade refined canola oil. “The plant will provide farmers with a much-needed local market to support continued acreage growth,” said Brent Kisling, executive director of the Enid Regional Development Alliance.


Latest Events

Minnesota Canola Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture host a half-day risk management education seminar in Roseau, Minn, on Dec. 11. Detail and the agenda are at mncanola.org.

Experienced canola producers, university faculty and other experts will speak Jan 22-23 at Washington State University’s oilseed production and marketing conference in Kennewick, Wash., the only such event in the Pacific Northwest. Sessions will address oilseed agronomy, processing, economics, marketing and end use.  View the agenda and registration information.

The Canola Council of Canada’s 2013 Annual Convention will be held in Vancouver, B.C. March 14-15. Topics will include nutrition, politics and industry news.  Register at canolacouncil.org.


About People

In November Dow AgroSciences awarded Canadian canola grower Helen Choquette with a new combine valued at $331,000. Choquette was the winner of the company’s more than year-long contest to promote Nexera canola. The new 2012 New Holland CR 9090 will allow the family, which farms Nexera canola north of Kelvington, Saskatchewan, to retire the used combine they purchased five years ago. “It’s the end-use demand that has given everyone in the Nexera canola value chain, from growers to processors, “healthier profits” – and that’s why we are able to give away a combine,” says Mark Woloshyn, Nexera Brand Leader for Dow AgroSciences.


 

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