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Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The prevented planting (PP) coverage level for canola in 2018 will be 55 percent, thanks to U.S. Canola Association (USCA) input to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency. The agency originally proposed 45 percent for basic PP coverage but the USCA convinced it to be higher because the agency's cost factor for pre-applied fertilizer for canola was too low in its PP evaluations. Producers will continue to have the option to add 5 or 10 percent to the base PP coverage.

U.S. canola acreage in 2017
 is expected to increase by 26 percent, according to the June 30 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. A total of 2.16 million acres planted is projected — the first time the crop has topped the 2 million-acre mark. The Northern Plains continues to lead the nation's canola production with 1.73 million acres planted this year, up 16 percent from 2016. The Southern Great Plains continues to rebound in acreage as well with 210,000 planted acres reported, double that of last year. And the 221,000 acres planted in the Pacific Northwest is an 84 percent increase over 2016.

A new 10-year baseline (2018-2027) for the 2018 Farm Bill released by the Congressional Budget Office on June 29 projected spending of $143 billion for mandatory farm programs and $679 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Farm program spending is down $4 billion while nutrition is up $7 billion from the January estimates. This will be the funding Congress has available to write the farm bill, barring any further reductions in te FY2018 budget by the Congressional Budget Committee, which is currently being negotiated.


Agronomy

The Bee Integrated Demonstration Project is one of three initiatives that Bayer and Project Apis m. are supporting as part of Healthy Hives 2020, a $1 million research effort to improve the health of U.S. honey bee colonies by the end of 2020. The project is designed to measure and demonstrate the impact that certain best management practices can have on agriculture and honey bee health, specifically reducing colony loss. Other initiatives will look at virus content and resistance in honey bees and to develop a product to control Varrroa mites, which cause bee loss.

Concerned about Varroa mites? Everyone in agriculture should be. Every honey bee colony in the continental U.S. or Canada will face an infestation of these mites (if they don't have them already). They're one of the top threats to honey bee health, honey production and pollination services. But through Mitecheck, launched by the Bee Informed Partnership, Michigan State University and the University of Maryland - College park, beekeepers can help combat the problem long- term by providing data that tracks mite counts, infestations and geographic trends in their populations. In the meantime, beekeepers are encouraged to download the Coalition's Tools for Varroa Management Guide and associated resources at http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/.

In Australia, the use of urea as nitrogen fertilizer for canola has continued to increase over the past two decades-thanks in part to its cost effectiveness-but researchers warn of negative side effects. Though urea application promotes growth in canola, it also breaks down in a chemical reaction with water in soil to release ammonium. Absorbed by plant roots, ammonium is toxic to canola. "The problem is, it (toxicity) often goes undetected," Omar Al-Awad, Ph.D. student and researcher at the University of Western Australia, told Farm Weekly. Symptoms of ammonium toxicity include chlorosis and leaf curl.

Nutrition

Fat is not a four-letter word, of course, and avoiding them to be healthy or thin is naïve, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. A recent study showed that millennials who regularly consume foods containing polyunsaturated fats may increase satiety, discouraging overconsumption. "Eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats ... may favorably change appetite hormones so that we can feel fuller for longer," said Jamie Cooper, lead researcher.

And it's not just a reduction in hunger that these good fats provide, although there's research to suggest that they can be just as satiating as protein or carbohydrates. There is also evidence that swapping saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats—as found in canola oil or walnuts—is tied to fewer heart attacks and a lower incidence of heart disease.

That's because not all fat is created equally, according to Lee Hyrkas, Bellin Health registered dietitian and performance nutrition specialist. She encourages athletes to avoid trans fats like partially hydrogenated oils and limit consumption of saturated fats, such as those found in fried foods and processed meats. In their place, Hyrkas suggests monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including canola oil, comprise about 25 percent of a runner's calories.

Other Country News

About 40 years ago, canola didn't even exist in Canada, and yet today, it's the country's biggest crop. In fact, this year it's estimated that Canadian growers will sow 22 million acres of the crop—the most in its history. That's due to a growing middle class in Asia that is demanding increased imports of canola oil as well as global demand for healthier cooking oils overall. Since 2011, the global market for low-erucic acid rapeseed/canola has grown 61 percent. And it's forecast to increase another 51 percent between last year and 2021, according to Euromonitor International. That kind of growth for canola is greater than it is for any other edible oil, including both olive and sunflower oils.

Research in Europe has demonstrated that natural landscapes are helpful in boosting canola yield and cutting insecticide applications. But now the Canola Council of Canada is working to determine if the same holds true in its geography. The Council is one year into funding a four-year study at the University of Calgary that is looking at how landscape affects native bees in southern Alberta. Help from farmers would be "greatly, greatly, greatly appreciated," Gregory Sekulic, Canola Council agronomist, told Grainews. For those farmers assisting with the research, Sekulic says that the results "could actually help them increase their profitability while reducing effort to do so."

Latest Industry News

"Food Evolution," a documentary that examines the controversy over genetically modified foods, is now in theaters. Commissioned by the non-profit Institute of Food Technologists, the 90-minute film looks at all aspects of the topic. Through interviews with food journalists, farmers, and scientists—including narration by scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson—the film advances a conclusion that the term GMO is not, as comedian Jon Stewart once said, "the three most terrifying letters in the English language."

A meeting about forming a Pacific Northwest Canola Association last month brought together attendees from the Washington Oilseed Commission, Washington Department of Agriculture, Washington State University, and Oregon State University, as well as oil processors, seed dealers and growers. This led to the formation of a steering committee, which will be reaching out to Montana growers and industry members to assess their desired level of participation, while also trying to involve more Eastern Oregon growers. In addition, preliminary decisions were made about starting up the organization, with full support and financial investment from the USCA.

In Minnesota? Mark your calendars for July 6 for the 2017 Canola Production Centre Field Day. Held in Roseau, Minn., the event will feature a tour of the Canola Production Centre, along with the following trials: variety and systems comparison; seeding rate and row spacing; canola management strategies to improve return on investment; direct harvest canola shatter; nitrogen rate, source and timing; unmanned aerial systems as a management tool in canola; singulation and row spacing. The tour begins at 10 AM and will be followed by a burger lunch and annual golf scramble. Contact mncanola@comcast.net to register.

About the USCA

Visit the USCA website to read our latest blog—"Cargill and BASF Offer a New Source for Omega-3s"—which discusses an omega-3-fortified canola being developed in partnership by the two companies. Though production is likely still several years away, Cargill and BASF believe that this enhanced canola could benefit everything from aquafeed to the food and beverage industry to pharmaceuticals. "This innovative solution can be used to develop more nutritional, economical products, but also provides relief from the pressure on wild-caught fish populations," says Molly Jaye Barber, for Cargill. "This is one collaboration that could have industry-changing impact."

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