Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil Production

Latest Events

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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

In late March, the White House and Congress reached an agreement regarding the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution (CR), which President Barack Obama signed into law on March 27. The CR will fund government operations through Sept. 30, 2013. The bill also contained the FY 2013 agriculture appropriations bill, including funding for the National Canola Research Program.   

Canola acreage in 2013 is expected to decrease nationally by 6 percent due to declines in North Dakota and Minnesota, according to the March 28 prospective plantings summary by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report projects a total of 1.65 million acres of U.S. canola with considerable increases in Oregon (78 percent), Oklahoma (71 percent) and Washington (67 percent). Plantings in other states are expected to hold steady.

The USDA Risk Management Agency announced 2013 Crop Insurance Price Elections for canola at $25 per hundredweight. This is a 5.5 percent increase over last year. Producers have three options: yield protection, revenue protection or revenue protection with harvest price exclusion. All three policies have the same price election. Growers are encouraged to contact their crop insurance agents to determine the dollar amounts of coverage they can obtain based on this price.


Agronomy

Bee colony collapse disorder, a mysterious disease that kills about 30 percent of honeybees annually, is responsible for significantly more bee deaths this year, The New York Times reported March 28. Commercial beekeepers – who truck in bees to pollinate growers’ fields – cited hive losses of 40 to 55 percent. Although the article pointed to neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides, as a possible cause behind colony collapse disorder, experts noted that more research is needed. The most recent issue of the U.S. Canola Digest features a discussion of honeybee health plus tips for grower bee stewardship.

About 350 farmers, business representatives and government officials gathered in Enid, Okla., March 28 for Canola College, an educational forum on how to best grow canola. Participants also had a chance to meet with executives from Northstar Agri Industries and learn more about the company’s proposed processing plant in Enid. Northstar expects the plant to produce 40 percent canola oil and 60 percent canola meal.

North Dakota had an exceptionally profitable crop year in 2012, during which the value of the canola crop reached an all-time high of $539 million. Canola also fetched a record high price across the country: $26.50 per hundredweight. The total value of canola for the entire U.S. was $644 million.

The Kokomo Perspective reported that DuPont Pioneer announced plans to expand two of its Indiana seed production facilities, which will together create 41 new jobs by 2016 and add $26.3 million in capital investment. DuPont is a leading producer of canola seed and already employs 500 people in Indiana and more than 12,000 worldwide. The company will begin hiring additional production technicians this fall.


Nutrition

According to research presented on March 21 at the American Heart Association’s EPI/NPAM 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, canola and high-oleic canola oils can lower abdominal fat compared to three other oils with different fat profiles. The study of 121 American and Canadian adults at risk for metabolic syndrome shows that consuming certain vegetable oils is a simple way of reducing their risk of this medical condition, which affects about one in three U.S. adults and one in five Canadian adults. Results from this Canola Oil Multicentre Interventional Trial showed that those who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils on a daily basis for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the importance of including healthy fats in our diet. Kerri-Ann Jennings, R.D., notes that fat comes in two main forms: unsaturated and saturated. She says you “need both kinds in your diet, but the majority should come from unsaturated fats,” which are found in olive and canola oils.

Whole Foods Market announced that by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for biotech labeling. “We’re responding to our customers, who have consistently asked us for GMO labeling and we are doing so by focusing on where we have control: in our own stores,” says Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stands by the safety of biotech foods and “that the method of development of a new plant variety … would not usually be required to be disclosed in labeling for the food.”

Oil Production

A Colorado farmer turned his harvested canola seed into homegrown fuel this winter, reported the BC Democrat. Chuck Clapper is now running his tractors on biodiesel made with canola oil. By turning canola oil into fuel, he has the capability of producing 120 gallons of biodiesel a day. Clapper also presses his own canola for home cooking oil and a high-protein canola meal for cattle feed.

Canadian canola farmers are expected to see a 16 percent increase in yield this year, which will be an all-time high. The anticipated swell in production, the most since 2008, will add to high-oleic canola oil reserves for McDonald’s, which uses the oil to cook 4,000 metric tons of fries globally every day. The Canadian government estimates 15.5 million tons of canola to be harvested.

Latest Events

The U.S. Canola Association held its annual membership and board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., March 18-20. Board members met with Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson and Congressional staff from other House and Senate offices to discuss strategies for passing a 2013 Farm Bill and maintaining funding for the National Canola Research Program. (Pictured from left: Jay Bjerke, Rep. Peterson, Robert Rynning, Neil Juhnke and Beth Nelson.) The board meeting also included a panel of senior staff from the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to discuss current farm legislation. Four board members were reelected for another term: John Haas (Great Plains), Curtis Hennings (at large), Robert Rynning (at large) and Greg Petrie (Midwest). The fall board of directors meeting will be Nov 11-12 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Bruce Jowett joined the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) as vice president of market development on March 4. He comes to the CCC from Cargill AgHorizons, where he was business unit marketing manager. “Bruce brings to the CCC significant experience and a proven track record in the agriculture value chain including primary research, product development, product management and marketing,” says CCC President Patti Miller. Originally from Winnipeg, Jowett has a B.Sc. in agriculture from the University of Manitoba. He will oversee the CCC’s promotion programs for canola oil and meal worldwide.

About Us

Applause for (ahem) yours truly, U.S. Canola Digest, which earned first place among regional magazines in the “Best of NAMA Awards” from the National Agri-Marketing Association. On to nationals!

Results are in for the U.S. Canola Digest reader survey, conducted in early 2013. According to the 22 responses, readers use the magazine as their top source for industry information. Nearly 91 percent rate the magazine’s content as “good” or “excellent.” Production management, agronomic research and the oilseed market rank as the most important article topics.

Want to read us on your smart phone or tablet? Check out the current and archived issues of U.S. Canola Digest, now available through a nifty, improved online PDF viewer that’s formatted for mobile devices.

 

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