“If you were to ask a group of medical professionals to name the most significant public health achievements of the past century, antibiotics and widespread vaccination against infectious diseases would almost certainly top the list,” says Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D., in a commentary on Science20.com. “If you were to say pesticides not only belonged on the list, but well toward the top of it, you would likely be greeted with skepticism, if not incredulity … Yet by any of the standard measures of public health – reductions in mortality, impairment, and infectious diseases, as well as improved quality of life – the contribution of modern pesticides has been profound. An adequate supply of food is absolutely foundational to human health. Denied sufficient calories, vitamins, and other micronutrients, the body’s systems break down.”
By Angela Dansby
For the first time in history, the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) held a meeting in the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Wash.) as a testament to the fact that canola is now a regional crop. About 233,000 acres, representing 12 percent of national acreage, was grown in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon in 2018. That’s enough to supply a whopping 40 percent of the full-capacity Viterra crushing facility in Warden, Wash.
“The Pacific Northwest will plant more spring canola and new growers in the region are increasing,” says PNW Canola Association Executive Director Karen Sowers. “The production per acre has gone up due to better genetics and grower management.” Read More »
“Did you catch the story about the swarm of 25,000 bees that had to be captured and removed (by a special police unit, no less) from the Staten Island Ferry Station in New York City?, asks Henry I. Miller, M.D., in an editorial in Issues & Insights.
“After many years of media reports about honeybees and wild bees dying off, you’d think they were nearly extinct — so what were 25,000 of them doing at a ferry terminal in one of the world’s most densely populated cities?
“Maybe they heard that New York was “all the buzz.”
By Tom Hance and Angela Dansby
It continues to be a challenging time for biodiesel, both commercially and on the federal policy front. President Trump and the Administration are dealing with backlash following the decision to grant an additional 31 retroactive Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in August under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The SREs undermine RFS volume requirements and result in reduced demand for biofuels, especially biodiesel. Read More »
By Brian Hrudka
Flea beetle damage to an emerged canola crop is a relatively common occurrence across the Northern Plains every year. However, the timing and severity of damage can vary tremendously from year to year and even from one field to the next for various reasons.
“The ‘bee-pocalypse’ is mostly a myth, and neonic pesticides shouldn’t become bogeymen when other types of pesticides would be much more harmful,” writes Dr. Henry I. Miller in The Federalist. “Neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics for short) are state-of-the-art crop protection products that anti-pesticide zealots have been campaigning to eliminate for the better part of a decade. Applied mostly as seed coatings, which obviates the need for foliar spraying, they are absorbed into crop plants and control crop-destroying pests.
On May 15, 2019, the U.S. Canola Association once again called upon U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to include canola and other crops indirectly affected by retaliatory trade tariffs in Market Facilitation Payments (MFPs). While these payments in 2018 were limited to commodities directly subjected to tariffs, it is vital for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide assistance this year to other crops whose prices and demand are tied to those of crops with tariffs.
What is clubroot?
Clubroot is a disease that affects the roots of plants from the botanical family of crucifer crops. This family includes broccoli, cabbage, canola, cauliflower, kale, radish, mustard, among others. It can also hit plants considered weeds, like Shepard’s purse and wild mustard. The causal organism requires a living plant to reproduce and complete its lifecycle; however, in the absence of a host, it can survive in soil as a cyst for many years. Cysts are resting spores that can germinate in the proximity of roots of host plants. Upon germination, “zoospores” emerging from cysts will swim towards root hairs and penetrate.
The U.S. Canola Association (USCA), along with other biodiesel industry stakeholders, continues to lobby Congress to reinstate the biodiesel blenders tax credit. The $1 per gallon credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel expired at the end of 2017, and while a bill that would have extended it seven years was passed by the House last December, it was not acted on by the Senate before Congress adjourned for the year. Supporters are keeping up the push in 2019 with USCA Capitol Hill visits in late January, a targeted industry fly-in in early February and an industry coalition letter to House leadership urging quick action on a package of tax extenders. Read More »
On Feb. 25, 2019, the first case in the federal multidistrict litigation In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL) before Judge Vince Chhabria went to trial in San Francisco. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in most Roundup® brand herbicides and other weed-control products.
Glyphosate, given its effectiveness and wide adaptation, is one of the most studied herbicides in the world. An extensive body of research on it and glyphosate-based herbicides, including more than 800 studies over several decades, 40 years of real world experience and conclusions of regulators and international agencies around the world support the safety of these products when used as directed.