The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has issued the FY Supplemental and Alternative Crops Program Request for Applications. The competitive grant program was appropriated $825,000 by Congress last year and funds the National Canola Research Program. The application deadline is April 11, 2016.
U.S. Canola Association (USCA) President Jeff Scott attended February's annual meeting of the National Oilseed Processors Association along with representatives of oilseed industry companies and their customers. The focus was on issues affecting global market demand, such as the Chinese economy and Trans Pacific Partnership. Companies and producer groups also shared their perspectives on sustainability and what it means for them.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held its annual conference in January and USCA representative Ryan Pederson attended. The conference focused on the growing prominence of biodiesel, policy accomplishments regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and biodiesel tax credit, and the industry's contributions toward reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The NBB has filed a petition for review in the federal appeals court to defend the biodiesel industry's interests under the RFS.
In late 2015, Canadian Pacific Railway made an offer to merge with Norfolk Southern Corporation. That offer was rejected, but Canadian Pacific is continuing its efforts to take over Norfolk Southern, prompting House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte to seek clarification from the Surface Transportation Board on the potential merger. Rail customers, including farmers and agribusinesses, are concerned such a merger might not be in farmers' best interests.