Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for Alternative Uses

Latest Industry News

About USCA and CCC

 






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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

Agriculture Committee Chairs and Ranking Members Rep. Frank Lucas, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Colin Peterson and Sen. Thad Cochran were unable to reach agreement on the 2013 Farm Bill before the Thanksgiving break on the major issues dividing them. This includes the commodity title standoff regarding support on current year plantings versus base acres and nutrition cuts. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to be in session for two weeks in December, but only overlap the week of Dec. 9, so there is little time left to finish a farm bill this year. The one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill expired Sept. 30.

On Nov. 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated (PH) oils - the primary source of trans fat - are no longer "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). Trans fat is damaging because it increases "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowers "good" HDL cholesterol. If the FDA's preliminary determination is finalized, PH oils will be classified as food additives that cannot be legally sold without FDA approval, a decision expected to eliminate most artificial trans fat from the U.S. food supply. While the consumption of trans fat has declined through the use of alternatives such as canola oil and high-stability canola oil, the further reduction could help prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to the FDA’s announcement about PH oils, the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) issued a news release explaining that high-stability canola oil offers higher heat tolerance and shelf stability than most vegetable oils, enough to replace PH oils in many applications. “The use of canola oil has more than doubled in the last five years and high-stability canola oil makes up well over half of all the canola oil used by the U.S. food industry,” says Ryan Pederson, president of the USCA and a canola grower in Rolette, N.D. “High-stability canola oil offers a trans fat solution without increasing – and in most cases, decreasing – saturated fat.” The release also mentions the American Heart Association’s recent recommendation to reduce daily saturated fat consumption to 5 to 6 percent, a significant decrease from the 10 percent cited in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. To read the full release, visit the USCA website.  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting applications for its Fellowships Grant Program. The fellowships seek to develop “technical and academic competence of doctoral candidates and the research independence and teaching competencies of postdoctoral students in the food, forestry and agricultural sciences.” Study areas include plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities.


Agronomy

Northstar Agri Industries and Bayer CropScience announced the addition of InVigor L252 hybrid to a high-oil contract for Northstar growers. Launched for the 2014 growing season, L252 features the LibertyLink® trait, which gives farmers an alternative to glyphosate-tolerant systems and a tool to fight herbicide resistance. The Northstar contract will pay growers an extra 5 percent on the first 1,250 pounds per acre of grain. In exchange, hybrids need to be top performers in both yield and oil percentage. “This now gives our growers access to the full range of herbicide systems available in canola today,” says Jay Bjerke, agronomic services manager at Northstar Agri Industries. “Using Liberty herbicide is a great option to rotate with other herbicide systems to enhance volunteer control and prevent the establishment of herbicide-resistant weeds.”

The Oklahoman reported that the FDA's future trans fat ban is good news for Oklahoma's canola farmers. According to Ron Sholar, executive director of the Great Plains Canola Association, as products containing trans fat are phased out, the demand for canola is likely to increase. "We do expect that to be good news for canola growers in the state," he says.


Nutrition

The American Heart Association (AHA) promoted Nov. 6 as National Eating Healthy Day to encourage Americans to adopt good eating habits as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle and help prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death in America. Cooking at home and using good fats like canola oil instead of butter are two easy ways to do so, the AHA notes. In addition, on Nov. 12, the AHA and American College of Cardiology published online new guidelines for reducing cardiovascular risk, including reducing saturated and trans fat consumption.

Prevention, Science Daily and LATimes.com reported that oils high in omega-6 and low in omega-3 fats may not be as healthy as once thought. A Canadian Medical Association study, published online Nov. 11 ahead of print, indicates that while oils such as corn and safflower lower cholesterol, they may also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Canola oil has a better balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, making it a healthier option.


Oil for Alternative Uses

The American Chemical Society (ACS) revealed an alternative use for canola oil in its "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions" podcast. The segment describes the use of UV-C light to change canola oil and waste canola cooking oil into olefins, a common source of plastics found in numerous products. The podcast is available free of charge on iTunes and from the ACS Global Challenges website.

Latest Industry News

On Nov. 7, Warden, Wash.-based Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) received its first unit train of canola seeds. PCC broke ground in 2011 and started producing canola oil in January 2013. "The unit train receiving capability gives us a lot of flexibility on in-bound logistics," says PCC chief operating officer Matt Upmeyer. "It offers a significant freight savings, we can receive trains from much further destinations at competitive freight costs."


About USCA and CCC

The U.S. Canola Association held its annual fall board of directors meeting in Oklahoma City, Okla., Nov. 11-13. A panel of canola growers and industry representatives discussed winter canola acreage and estimated about 300,000 planted acres for the 2014 crop. Attendees also participated in several field tours led by Mike Stamm of Kansas State University, Heath Sanders of the Great Plains Canola Association and Josh Bushong of Oklahoma State University.

Enter the fifth annual U.S. Canola Digest photo contest for the opportunity to win cash prizes and have your photo published in the magazine! The deadline is Jan. 1, 2014. Winning photos will be determined in early January and published in the March/April 2014 U.S. Canola Digest. Visit www.uscanola.com for details.

Canola producers, researchers and other experts will speak Jan 20-22, 2014 at Washington State University's oilseed production and marketing conference in Kennewick, Wash. Sessions will cover topics related to oilseed production and direct seed management strategies. Exhibits showcase equipment dealers, suppliers, crop consultants, hands-on demonstrations and research. Registration is open online.

Get ready to "saddle up" for the 47th annual Canola Council of Canada convention Feb. 25-27, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. Guest speakers will include Vincent Amanor-Boadu, associate professor of agribusiness economics and management at Kansas State University; Kevin Bleyer, speechwriter and former writer for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart;" and Jim Painter, professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University. Register before Jan. 15, 2014 for a chance to win an iPad mini!

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) will hold its 17th annual canola expo on Wednesday, Dec. 11 in Langdon, N.D. The keynote speaker will be Mike Jubinville of Pro Farmer Canada, an international agricultural trade and policy consulting firm specializing in the oilseeds sector. He will highlight major market factors expected to influence the oilseed market in 2013-2014. In addition, experts will discuss bee issues in agriculture and canola production results. The NCGA annual membership meeting will follow.


 

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