Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil Products

Latest Industry News

About USCA and CCC

 




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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The long slog of passing the farm bill is nearly over. The House passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 on Jan. 29 by a vote of 251-166. The Senate is scheduled to vote on cloture to end a filibuster against it on Feb. 3 with the final passage vote on Feb. 4. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law at the end of the week. If enacted, the law will help farmers and ranchers create more jobs and assist them in the event of a natural disaster. The direct payment program will be eliminated, which funded farmland owners regardless of whether they grew crops or not. Conservation efforts will be reinforced to protect natural resources. Also the proposed law cuts the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by $800 million per year.

As of Jan. 13, funding for Supplemental & Alternative Crops research under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) was slated at $825,000. The current total FY2014 budget for NIFA is nearly $1.28 billion, up $107 million compared to FY 2013 and $69 million compared to FY 2012. On Jan. 27, farm bill managers stated that they “recognize the importance of nationally coordinated, regionally managed canola research and education programs.” In awarding grants for these activities, they encourage the Secretary of Agriculture to “seek input from stakeholders and give priority consideration to proposals that address research needs in production areas with the greatest potential to expand as well as those where canola production is established and needs to be maintained.”


Agronomy

According to Heath Sanders of the Great Plains Canola Association, Oklahoma’s winter canola crop looked healthy mid-December. However, multiple winter storms in late December and early January dropped crop condition ratings from mostly “good” to “fair” as defined by the U.S Department of Agriculture. Sanders warned that producers should check for pest problems early to ensure the crop’s success come spring. Weeds should not be an issue until mid-February, so growers should wait until the weather is above 50 °F for a few days before spraying.

Canola meal offers better quality protein to dairy cows compared to other types of meal, according to French and Canadian researchers in the December 2013 Journal of Dairy Science. In a recent study, researchers replaced soybean meal and high-protein corn distiller grains with canola meal in dairy cow rations. Canola meal was superior nutritionally as it did not present any essential amino acid deficiencies unlike the other two types of meal.  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recent move to ban partially hydrogenated (PH) vegetable oils – the major source of artificial trans fat in the U.S. food supply – is good news for canola farmers, reports the Associated Press. Food companies are switching from the unhealthy PH oils to alternatives like heart-healthy canola oil, which is driving up the price of canola. Farmers who earn $6 to $7 per bushel of wheat can earn $10 per bushel for canola. As a result, farmers continue to increase canola production to meet the growing need for canola oil, almost doubling their acres in some states. For example, Oklahoma grew 140,000 acres in 2012 and 250,000 in 2013. 


Nutrition

Following the FDA’s proposal last November to largely prevent future use of PH oils, Restaurant News reported restaurant operators have already made efforts to eliminate artificial trans fat from their menus. The article suggests that trans fat-free canola oil is a great option for deep-frying due to its high smoke point. Canola oil also makes a “huge health change” as it is high in monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.

Although saturated fat has a bad reputation, trans fat is considered by many doctors and researchers to be the absolute worst because it raises “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers “good” (HDL) cholesterol. This harmful combination increases the risk of heart disease. Consumers should opt for monounsaturated fat instead, says the Mayo Clinic News Network, found in ingredients such as canola oil. Walnuts and fish are also recommended as healthy fat sources.


Oil Products

Canola oil sales have surpassed soybean oil as the best-selling cooking oil in Korea for the third year in a row, according to CJ CheilJedang, a South Korea-based food and bio-business holding company. Canola oil’s popularity is due to its versatile cooking uses and low price – half that of grapeseed and olive oils.

Ontario, Canada-based Pristine Gourmet has teamed up with Bunge North America to introduce its “extra virgin,” cold-pressed canola oil to the U.S., according to the January/February 2014 U.S. Canola Digest. After growing a successful cold-pressed oil business in Canada, which includes canola, soy and sunflower oils, Pristine Gourmet will make its American debut in partnership with Bunge early this year. 

Another small batch, cold-pressed canola oil is also available to U.S. consumers: Michigan-based Grand Traverse Culinary Oils offers canola oil mechanically extracted from non-biotech canola seeds. (Owner William Koucky is also the founder of Northwest Michigan Biodiesel, which produces biodiesel from canola oil as well.) This is the second cold-pressed oil out of Michigan; U.S. Canola Digest reported on Dan Blackledge and his Pure Michigan canola oil in the June/July 2013 issue.

 


Latest Industry News

The Great Plains Canola Association, Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University and canola industry partners are hosting Canola College again this year on Feb. 13 at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center in Enid, Okla. Attendees will be able to learn and share knowledge with canola experts and more than 300 canola producers and industry members.

Bayer CropScience announced three new canola varieties for 2014. Each of the new InVigor® varieties will contain the LibertyLink® trait, which allows growers an alternative to glyphosate-resistant systems. The first variety, L252, will offer high oil content as a mid-season variety with high yield potential. L140P, another variety, has pod shatter tolerance built into the genes to keep the pod intact against weather conditions and allow growers to delay harvesting. The third variety, L160S, is resistant to Sclerotinia stem rot. 

Warden, Wash.-based Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) entered into a six-month contract to truck a portion of its super degummed canola oil to biofuel producer Imperium Renewables in Seattle, reports the Wall Street Journal. Matt Upmeyer, PCC’s chief operations officer, says Imperium will benefit from PCC’s “close proximity and load-out capabilities” that will allow PCC to ship multiple types of oil to meet customers' specifications. “Coupled with the strong demand for canola oil and meal from our core food processing customers, the Imperium contract is another big step as we bring our facility to full capacity, which is great news for local canola farmers," he adds.


About USCA and CCC

Entries for the fifth annual U.S. Canola Digest photo contest are in and the votes have been cast. First and third place go to John Van Dam of Park River, N.D. Second place goes to Ron Sholar of Stillwater, Okla. The winning photos will appear in the March/April 2014 U.S. Canola Digest. Thanks to all of those who entered and don’t forget to submit to this year’s contest from now until Dec. 31! 

Canola producers, researchers and other experts spoke Jan. 20-22 at Washington State University's Direct Seed & Oilseed Cropping Systems 2014 Conference “Covering New Ground” in Kennewick, Wash. Sessions covered topics related to oilseed production and direct seed management strategies. Exhibits showcased equipment dealers, suppliers, crop consultants, hands-on demonstrations and research.

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


 

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