Omega-3 fatty acids are in high demand. Research has shown that some of their nutritional benefits include decreasing triglycerides and the risk of abnormal heartbeats, even slightly lowering blood pressure levels. But the heightened demand continues to pressure wild fish populations that are harvested to produce fish meal and fish oil for aquafeed – these are the primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids used to grow healthy (and tasty) salmon. That’s where Cargill, BASF Plant Science and Montana agriculture come in.
URGENT: The deadline to sign up for U.S. Census of Agriculture is this Friday, June 30! Taken only once every five years, this survey looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.
The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. Through the Census of Agriculture, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture, and they can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come. By responding to the Census of Agriculture, producers are helping themselves, their communities, and all of U.S. agriculture.
Make sure your farm counts: sign up here today!
Rural America may be having second thoughts about predominantly casting a vote for President Trump as he continued to slash agricultural funding in May. His FY 2018 budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” proposes $3.6 trillion in cuts over 10 years, including $228 billion in reductions to farm bill programs. This is in addition to the 21 percent cut to annual discretionary expenditures advanced in the President’s “skinny budget” released in March.
Rural America helped swing the election in Donald Trump’s favor. But at first glance, he doesn’t appear to be returning the favor with his proposed budget.
The President released the long-awaited budget last week, and agriculture spending took one of the biggest hits. Trump proposed slashing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) discretionary spending to $17.9 billion, which is a whopping 21 percent cut – the third largest of any federal agency.
The increase in canola oil use is well documented, but U.S. production has not kept pace with consumption. Luckily, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and canola industry are engaged in supporting research to improve canola productivity and profitability in ways that will lead to expanded production around the country. At a 2017 U.S. Canola Association meeting, NIFA facilitated a half-day workshop showing off USDA and other agency research advancing canola production. The NIFA Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants Program has helped canola researchers address needs in all regions across the nation. Work includes testing germplasm and breeding superior performing varieties; developing new commercial products from canola; and innovating new production, harvest and processing methods for production systems that include canola. There is a focus on getting results to commercial users as soon as possible, so NIFA’s involvement with stakeholders in setting priorities, project development and product delivery is required.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $766,000 for fundamental and applied research to help develop and share new commercial canola varieties and products, and expand the crop’s growing regions. This funding is made available through NIFA’s Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive (SACC) grants program.
The Administration of President Donald Trump has officially begun and everyone in D.C. is buzzing. The early days suggest it will indeed be a new paradigm – one that is unconventional in style, substance and process. The cabinet is beginning to take shape as the Senate works through the process of confirming nominees – –but no cabinet is complete without the Secretary of Agriculture, currently still vacant. Look for the Senate Agriculture Committee to hold confirmation hearings in the coming weeks for nominee Sonny Perdue. This former Governor of Georgia is making the rounds with Senators to share his vision for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and answer questions. The Senate aims to have him confirmed by the end of February or early March.
Not long after joining the Washington Oilseed Cropping Systems (WOCS) project at Washington State University 10 years ago, I had the good fortune of meeting a farmer in eastern Washington who had been growing canola for more than 20 years. This farmer told me about an effort in the mid-90s – when production was finally gaining some steam – to create a Pacific Northwest (PNW) canola and rapeseed association. However, that effort ‘faded away’after several years. The idea resurfaced five years ago, but again, did not go anywhere. All the while, acreage in the PNW continued an upward trend.
During the early 1990s, farmers in Oklahoma, Kansas and four other southern Great Plains states planted more than 32 million acres of wheat annually. Much of it was produced practicing little or no rotation, and with mounting problems due to deliberate monocropping.
A group of university researchers representing these states recognized the dire need for crop diversification and the development of alternative crops. They identified the soft-seeded (minor) oilseeds as promising for the region and zeroed in on canola, which promised the benefit of breaking disease and other pest cycles in wheat. The group formed the Great Plains Canola Council (GPCC) in 1990.
Don’t look now, but more yellow flowers may be popping up across Kansas, and they are not of the sunflower variety, which is the official state flower.
Based on the number of phone calls and emails I received this summer, I fully expect winter canola acres to rebound substantially for the 2017 crop year. Many producers said the price of wheat led them to their decision to plant canola, but I quickly reminded them that there are many benefits to rotating to canola including greater wheat yields, better weed control options and growing consumer demand for the oil.