Capitol Hill

Agronomy

Nutrition

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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The National Biodiesel Board, along with several other biodiesel member companies, filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission. According to the petition, Argentine and Indonesian companies are flooding the U.S. market with subsidized biodiesel, which is being sold below its cost of production - both of which violate U.S. trade laws. Check back with the USCA for developments as the U.S. government begins its investigation.

Robert Rynning, president of the USCA, will present a statement to the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, part of the Committee on Agriculture in the U.S. House of Representatives, requesting the creation of an incentive to include canola in cropping rotations to provide habitat for honey bees and wild pollinators. Scheduled to be presented April 4, Rynning's statement also serves as a reminder of a March 15 letter from the USCA and other farm and commodity organizations that asked for additional funding in order to develop an effective farm income safety net in the 2018 Farm Bill. Full testimony will be forthcoming on the USCA website.


Agronomy

There's still time to apply for canola research funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which announced the availability of $766,000 to help develop new canola varieties and expand its growing regions. But the deadline for applications-which must integrate both research and extension services-is April 11. More details and abstracts of past projects are available here.

Canola acreage in 2017 is expected to increase nationally by 12.4 percent, according to the March 31 prospective plantings summary by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report projects a total of 1.9 million acres planted to canola in the U.S. North Dakota, the top producing state in the nation, is projected to see an increase of 2.7 percent to 1.5 million acres planted.

Nutrition

What is canola oil and why is it a healthy choice? The Huffington Post explains that the oil is high in healthy unsaturated fats, including being the "richest cooking oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health." Want to know more about the canola plant, first bred in the 1960s by scientists from the University of Manitoba? HuffPo has you covered.

Banana Bread Day has passed (yes, that's actually a thing), but that doesn't mean you can't observe it now with a healthier recipe for banana loaf, especially if your bananas are on the verge of rotting. Gather three very ripe bananas along with canola oil, vanilla extract and a handful of other ingredients to make this treat. But because this version replaces the usual butter and sugar with canola oil and honey, it's better for your heart, so you don't have to feel guilty about indulging.


Other Country News

"There's been a substantial increase in the benefits from canola that are rippling through the Canadian economy," said Brian Innes, the Canola Council of Canada's vice president of government relations. In fact, canola's contribution to the country's economy has more than tripled in the past decade, putting its total impact now at $26.7 billion a year. LMC International, an agribusiness research firm, also found canola responsible for 250,000 jobs and $11.2 billion in wages.

An independent analysis conducted by Ciuriak Consulting, as commissioned by the Canola Council of Canada, found that a free trade agreement with China could create 33,000 more jobs in Canada simply as a result of increased canola exports. According to Dan Ciuriak, former deputy chief economist with the federal trade department, removing China's tariffs on Canadian canola could boost exports by up to $1.2 billion CDN per year.

Britain's Prince Charles may not be a fan of genetically modified crops, but his sister, Princess Anne, sees otherwise. "Surely if we are going to be better at producing food of the right value, then we have to accept that genetic technology ... is going to be part of that," she told BBC radio's "Farming Today" program in a recent interview. The Princess also said that if the law were to allow, she would grow biotech crops on her farmland in Gloucestershire. Current European Union laws strictly control planting such crops, but the British government is considering a change after Brexit.


Latest Industry News

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Canola Council of Canada and the 80th year that canola has been grown in the country. To celebrate, the Council has launched a new website called CanolaHistory.ca, showcasing industry milestones and leadership, plus opportunities for visitors to share special memories. There are also a couple videos about the history of canola farming, innovation in Canada and the people responsible for its tremendous growth.

Nuseed, an omega-3 canola firm, filed for regulatory approval in Australia, with plans to do the same in Canada and the U.S. very soon. If approved, commercial operations for the company, whose proprietary canola produces the type of omega-3 fat found in fish oil, would likely begin by 2019.

About the USCA

Visit the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) website to read our latest blog—"Federal Budget ‘Trumps' Rural America"—which discusses the President's proposed cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's discretionary spending. The 21 percent drop in funding would cut staffing at county USDA offices and funding for the National Agriculture Statistics Service.

The USCA elected at its February membership meeting new board members Anna Scharf and Bryan Aalund, farmer directors, as well as industry director Paul Caruso. They replace Doug Scoville, Kevin Waslaski and David Harley, respectively, whose terms ended.

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