Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for the Environment

Latest Industry News

About Canola Worldwide

 








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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

In the July 21 National Journal, agricultural columnist Jerry Hagstrom praises House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas for "putting in a stellar performance" as he tries to get the 2013 Farm Bill through a sharply partisan Congress. However, Hagstrom argues that the bill should have roots in "old laws" and separating it from food and nutrition programs could prove to be detrimental. "It's important to remembser that these are bad ideas even if they come from Lucas, who has otherwise distinguished himself," he writes. "As [Executive Director of the U.S. Canola Association] John Gordley told the American Soybean Association (one of his clients), the problem with changing permanent laws is that if farmers don't like the changes they will be difficult to change again."

Eight-year-old Nicholas Hornbostel may be the youngest guest of First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. He was invited to the White House Kids' State Dinner July 9 for winning Obama's 2013 Epicurious Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. The Colorado native's sushi salad recipe, which contains canola oil, was one of 54 recipes selected out of more than 1,300 submissions. The competition called for coming up with a healthy lunch recipe that included all the food groups without sacrificing taste. "I really want to be a cook and an engineer and be president, too," Hornbostel says.


Agronomy

Local farmers toured University of Idaho research fields in July to learn about the university's canola and mustard varieties research. The research reflects the trend among area farmers of forgoing wheat crops and growing canola and mustard plants instead. "We've had a lot more interest in canola and mustard, and if you've driven around the area this spring, you've seen a lot of yellow fields," says University of Idaho canola and mustard breeding research scientist Jim Davis. At the tours, researchers discussed that mustard and canola plants aren't only beneficial to wheat crops, but also profitable since the crops can be sold as food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved the first biotech crop under a new regulatory process designed to hasten biotech crop approvals. The new process accounts for biotech traits that have already been approved in other crops, including public comments, which reduces paperwork and time for new applications. Pioneer's glyphosate-resistant canola was the first biotech crop approved under the new review process. "We remain focused on providing a more timely and predictable review process while continuing to ensure the safe introduction of genetically engineered crops," says Mike Firko, APHIS acting deputy administrator for biotechnology regulatory services.

Deemed "the little yellow flower that could" by the Farm Journal, U.S. canola acreage continues to grow. "We can expect to see an upward trend in acres for years to come, especially in the South Plains," says Angela Dansby, U.S. Canola Association communications director. "There are about 250,000 acres grown there now, and we could see it peak as high as 2 million acres eventually." The region's interest in canola stems from wanting to grow better wheat, which benefits from canola in a rotation, notes Mike Stamm, canola breeder at Kansas State University. "Canola has been a good solution for continuous wheat, and in the past decade, we've learned how to grow canola more efficiently."


Nutrition

A U.S. registered dietitian separates food fact from fiction in a Yahoo! News article, including dispelling the notion that all fried foods are unhealthy. "While it's true that frying food usually increases its caloric content, that doesn't necessarily make it unhealthful," she says. "As long as food is fried in healthful oil instead of butter, shortening, or trans fat, and it's eaten in moderation, it isn't less healthy. In fact, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K; and heart-healthy, cancer-preventive carotenoids ... need fat in order to be absorbed by the body." Canola oil is cited as a healthful oil due to its high unsaturated fat content.


Oil for the Environment

Researchers at Tennessee State University (TSU) built a seed press system and biodiesel processor thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. TSU's Jason de Koff and Chris Robbins demonstrated the device at the 2013 Small Farm Expo, showing how canola seeds are used to create biodiesel. Why canola? "It can be grown just like wheat and it's cheaper," says Robbins. "The only competition we have with using canola is the cooking industry." The average farm uses about 2 to 6 gallons of diesel per acre per year, according to de Koff. "If that farm devoted about 1 to 15 percent of their acreage to growing a biodiesel crop, then they could fuel their equipment for that entire year."


Latest Industry News

Northstar Agri Industries introduced a site plan of its proposed canola crushing plant in Enid, Okla. The $200 million plan includes five miles of railroad tracks and a processing plant able to handle more than 2,200 tons of canola a day. The city of Enid, which must review and approve the plan, has agreed to help finance the company's project through a Tax Increment Finance plan.


About Canola Worldwide

Understanding the difference between "good" and "bad" fats is essential for maintaining a healthy diet. Dr. Rekha Sharma, president of the Indian Dietetic Association and director of the Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Diabetes Foundation in India, suggests including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats in the diet to decrease "bad" LDL cholesterol and control blood sugar. She also recommends avoiding trans fat, which raises bad cholesterol and lowers "good" HDL cholesterol. Canola oil is a great source of healthy fats, she says, plus it does not contain trans fat.

 

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