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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Statistics Service June 30 acreage report estimated 2014 crop year canola plantings at 1.75 million acres nationwide this year, a 30 percent increase from 2013. Regionally, the Northern Plains continues to lead in canola production with 1.28 million acres planted, a 35 percent increase from 2013. The Southern Great Plains continues to increase as well, with 319,000 acres reported planted, although this year’s yield was significantly decreased by severe drought conditions. The Pacific Northwest acreage of 147,000 was off 12 percent from last year.

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency published the 2014 Farm Bill’s crop insurance rule in the Federal Register. The comment period closes in 60 days. The rule covers the new and revised programs for crop insurance that were part of the farm bill, including the Supplemental Cover Options (SCO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Actual Production History (APH) adjustments, Conservation Compliance, Enterprise Units on Irrigated and Non-Irrigated Acres, Sod-Saver, Coverage Levels by Practice, Beginning Farmer and Rancher Provisions.


Agronomy

In an effort to stop the spread of blackleg in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) proposed a temporary rule requiring growers producing brassica crops in the region to test and treat seed for blackleg prior to planting, according to Capital Press. The disease has been found in multiple field canola and other brassica crops. There has been occasional evidence of blackleg for more than 20 years, but not at the current levels, according to Nancy Osterbauer, ODA plant health program manager.

Seven counties will be added to the canola policy for the 2015 crop year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. The seven counties include Cotton, Comanche, Canadian, Logan and Noble in Oklahoma and Wichita and Moore in Texas.

Winter canola may help as a rotation crop with cleaning up weeds and increasing yields for Texas wheat farmers, according to Southwest Farm Press. “Canola is a higher maintenance crop but also a higher value crop, as much as $2 per bushel higher than wheat, and if you use it as a rotational crop, you can get a higher yield out of your wheat the following years,” said Dr. Paul DeLaune, an AgriLife Research soil agronomist. Interest in winter canola is growing throughout Texas and Oklahoma, he added, citing USCA’s increased acreage goals for the region.

Nutrition

For those with diabetes, a recent study brought good news. The study showed that a low glycemic-load diet including canola oil helps improve both cholesterol and blood glucose control, reported Food Navigator USA. The study was led by David J.A. Jenkins of the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital and published in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care. “These findings are timely since diabetes is expected to double in the next 20 years and means of preventing it and its complications are major concerns of governments and the general public,” Jenkins said in a press release.

Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz visited China this month for a celebration of Sino-Canadian agricultural trade, where he praised the contribution of Canadian canola to the Chinese economy and its role in reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a press release. The Canadian canola crop offers China both health and wealth by producing one of the healthiest vegetable oils in the world and being processed in China, noted Ritz in the statement.

As the subject of trans fats has reached the federal level, USA Today reminded consumers that these fats are bad for your health. To limit consumption of artificial trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels, ask what type of oil your food is cooked with when eating out. At home, choose oils higher in healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as canola oil.

Oil and Seed Around World

By importing canola oil, philanthropist and businessman Iqbal Singh Kingra helps to fund the education of 60,000 students in India, according to The Globe and Mail. Kingra sells canola oil harvested and crushed in Canada, bridging the gap between the country and the large edible oil market in India, where people fry almost everything they eat. The profits made through the endeavor have helped build 129 modern schools, with a goal to expand to 500 by the year 2020. “I have come to the conclusion that canola oil is the only oil,” said Kingra, who commends the oil’s healthy benefits, including its low level of saturated fat. 

Latest Products or Industry News

Cargill launched IngreVita, a blend of high-oleic canola oil, fish oil and proprietary antioxidants, according to BakingBusiness.com. The inclusion of fish oil provides two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. “Numerous research studies have demonstrated the important role of EPA/DHA omega-3s for heart health and brain development,” said Janet Bones, assistant vice-president of research and development and quality assurance for Cargill.

A defunct oilseed plant at Northwood, N.D., will reopen with the financial support of a group of North Dakota investors, according to Prairie Business. It will start crushing canola from North Dakota, northwest Minnesota and possibly Canada this summer and potentially expand to other crops in the future, said Kent Weston, president of Prairie Premium Oil LLC. The plant will employ 15-17 people.

About People or the USCA

Registration is now open for the Nov. 4-5, 2014 National Canola Research Conference (NCRC) in conjunction with the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America's annual meetings in Long Beach, Calif. Book your hotel room soon as spots quickly fill up. 

 

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