Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

Oil for Alternative Use

Latest Industry News

About the USCA

 






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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

On Nov. 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the 2014 Required Volume Obligations (RVO) for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will not be finalized this year. Instead, the EPA will take action in 2015 prior to or combined with the rulemaking for the 2015 RVO standards.

The continued delays related to the RFS create great uncertainty for the biodiesel industry and vegetable oil and oilseed markets. The EPA previously issued a proposed rule to set the 2014 RVO for biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons, which is below the amounts actually produced and consumed in 2013. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) submitted comments on that proposed rule in January 2014, urging the EPA to increase the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2014. The preferred outcome for canola growers and the biodiesel industry would be for the EPA to finalize the biomass-based diesel volumes at or above the nearly 1.8 billion gallons produced and consumed in 2013. The USCA will continue to work with the National Biodiesel Board and industry partners to secure appropriate and beneficial biodiesel RFS volume requirements from the EPA and Obama administration.

As of October, total biomass-based diesel utilization, including imports, under the RFS was estimated at 1.4 billion gallons – already exceeding the 1.28 billion gallon level in the proposed rule. However, volumes can be carried over to the following year, so a final rule from the EPA for 2014 and 2015 is still important. Production for these years will also be significantly impacted by the outcome of the tax extenders package that is currently under consideration during the lame duck session of Congress. All USCA members are urged to contact their Congressional offices in support of this package, which includes a two-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit.

Agronomy

About 30 stakeholders met on Nov. 13 in Kennewick, Wash., to discuss the potential risk of blackleg to eastern Washington crucifer crops given the outbreak of this disease in the Willamette Valley earlier this year. Washington state is currently blackleg-free and to keep it this way, the group recommended that the Washington State Department of Agriculture expand the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, which is currently regulated in the five Northwest counties of Skagit Valley, to cover eastern Washington. The proposed rule would require laboratory testing for blackleg, a zero-tolerance incidence level and treatment with an approved fungicide for all crucifer seeds, including any in cover crop mixtures. All seed bags would have an easily identifiable tag as certified blackleg-free.

Northstar Agri Industries, BayerCropScience, the Northern Canola Growers Association and Minnesota Canola Council are working together to promote canola as a rotational crop, according to Farm and Ranch Guide. “Our organizations are working together to make sure growers looking for complementary rotational crops know that canola is an excellent option that offers a lot of economic and agronomic benefits,” said Neil Juhnke, president and chief operating officer of Northstar Agri Industries. He explained domestic demand for canola products exceeds domestic production by four times, making a strong case for its inclusion in rotations with wheat, barley, sugarbeets and soybeans.

An Oklahoma farmer touted the benefits of growing winter canola in North Texas e-News, explaining canola’s long taproots break up the soil and improve its tilth. “Growing winter canola has seriously reduced the presence of rye grass in our fields,” said grower Jerry Lingo. Canola’s ability to reduce the presence of perennial weeds in winter wheat in the southern Great Plains is one of the primary reasons it is being promoted for growth by Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University.

Nutrition

Baking season means stockpiling the pantry with flour, sugar and vanilla extract. Do you really need to buy butter in bulk though? PopSugar provided a list of ingredients that can substituted for butter in recipes, including applesauce, avocado and canola oil. If a recipe calls for melted butter, canola oil is a healthy substitute because of its lower saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

Interest in the Mediterranean diet continues to grow because of evidence suggesting it contributes to longevity, weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to NBC News's Today.com. The trick is to swap out for the Mediterranean ingredients instead of just adding them to your daily diet. For example, instead of salt, swap in herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil and cinnamon and replace butter with an unsaturated fat like canola oil. 

Dietitians strive to be disciplined, but even they indulge now and then. Several shared tips in The Huffington Post on healthy living without eliminating favorite foods. Dietitians suggested allowing a daily treat to avoid the stress of eating healthy 24 hours a day and reduce the temptation to binge later. They also looked for ways to make every day favorites healthier, such as using canola oil in place of butter, margarine or shortening because it is lower in saturated fat than most common cooking oils and has more beneficial omega-3 fat.

Oil for Alternative Use

Meredian Holdings Group is turning canola into biodegradable plastic at a processing plant in Bainbridge, Ga., according to The Western Producer. The process can use any oil to form a polymer, but canola is better at it than any other oil. Meredian announced this month a $3.5 million investment to upgrade the current plant to prepare for next year’s harvest. Michael Smith, chief operating officer, claims more than 300 million acres of canola will be required to produce enough polymer to satisfy the global plastics market, increasing the demand for canola. Read more about Meredian’s canola oil-based plastic in U.S. Canola Digest magazine.

Latest Industry News

Rotam, an international crop protection company, and Cibus, a leader in non-biotech trait development, have launched non-biotech SU Canola in the United States, along with two new weed control solutions designed for use on SU Canola. “SU Canola offers farmers a new alternative for weed control in canola that will provide sound stewardship options to deal with the management of glyphosate weed resistance,” said Dave Voss, vice president of commercial development at Cibus. He explained the new product will be optimal for rotation with glyphosate-tolerant soybeans, reducing weed pressure caused by volunteer glyphosate-tolerant canola in soybean fields.

About the USCA

It's time to submit your entries for U.S. Canola Digest's "Lights, Camera, Canola!" photo contest. All photos must feature U.S. canola and be taken no earlier than the previous calendar year. E-mail your entries to Alison Neumer Lara at alison@uscanola.com by Dec. 31. Check our contest rules for other specifics.

The Northern Canola Growers Association is hosting its 18th Annual Canola Expo on Wednesday, Dec. 10 in Langdon, N.D. The keynote speaker this year is Jerry Gulke of the Gulke Group. Registration is free.

The 2015 PNW Oilseed and Direct Seed Conference will be Jan. 20-22, 2015 at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Wash. Early registration is open until Jan. 5. The three-day event features a trade show, general and breakout sessions, research poster sessions and demos and diagnostics applicable to irrigated and dryland cropping systems throughout the Pacific Northwest.

 

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