Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

On July 29, President Obama signed into law the Biotech Labeling Solutions Act (S. 764) – just two weeks after the bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and three weeks in the Senate. The legislation nullifies Vermont’s mandatory biotech labeling law and preempts any other state-led efforts. The bill gives food manufacturers three options for the mandatory disclosure of genetically modified ingredients: on-package text, an on-package symbol or an on-package digital code that directs users online for more information. Under the online option, companies are not required to include the term “GMO” anywhere on the physical food label. All that is required is a QR code accompanied by text that reads “Scan here for more information.” The President’s signature now directs the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to establish this national biotech food labeling standard.

Risk Management Agency Administrator Brandon Willis hosted a discussion about crop insurance on July 21, with the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) and other farm and lending groups in attendance. Canola’s 2015 insured liability totaled $322 million – much lower than the top crops of corn ($40.3 billion), soybeans ($24.3 billion) and wheat ($8.4 billion). Cotton, almonds, rice, nursery, grapes, orange trees, and apples round out the top ten. Total 2015 liabilities were $102.4 billion. Organic and specialty crop participation are growing rapidly; whole farm revenue protection now has policies in 42 states, with 50 percent of that liability in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Willis explained that the 20-year average loss ratio for the crop insurance program is 0.87 – well below the 1.00 loss ratio mandated by law.

Agronomy

Researchers at Dow AgroSciences have developed a canola plant that can produce the same heart-healthy omega-3 fats found in fish. To do so, the scientists took the genetic assembly line for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from microscopic microalgae and inserted it into canola. As reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the authors of the study found that one tablespoon (14 grams) of the new canola oil they processed contributed more than the daily recommended amount (600 mg) of DHA and EPA. These types of omega-3 fats are associated with numerous health benefits, particularly for the heart. Canola oil naturally contains a different type of omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid.

Nutrition

For delicious, nutritious and easy summer salads, Zannat Reza, registered dietitian and founder of thrive360 and foodforhappiness.com, teamed up with Canola Eat Well to share recommendations and recipes. Her top tips include adding texture, topping with protein and replacing store-bought salad dressing with a homemade alternative. She suggests using canola oil as a dressing base because “its neutral flavor allows other ingredients to sing” and because of its high amount of omega-3 fat. Try Canola Eat Well’s Barley Salad with Spinach and Strawberries.

Trying to eat healthy this summer? Bake up a batch of homemade granola and divide it into snack bags for portion control. Include a mix of dry ingredients, like rolled oats, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and chopped almonds. And don’t forget the canola oil!

Other Country News

The Global and China Canola Oil Sales Market Report 2020 is now available for purchase. It focuses on top manufacturers in global and Chinese markets, including production, revenue and market share. The report also displays market information for canola oil in the U.S., EU, Japan, India and Southeast Asia beginning in 2011 and forecast to 2020.

Canola has come to Newfoundland. Through a $1 million research program led by the provincial forestry and agrifoods agency, the Canadian province is testing 40 different varieties of grains and fruits in order to determine how well they grow in the region. As part of that program, canola has been planted across a 30-acre field in Pasadena, which is pollinated exclusively by a 40-hive population of honeybees.

Latest Industry News

The National Agricultural Statistics Service released its Planted Acres Report June 30. The findings? Planted U.S. canola acres this year are slightly down from what was anticipated: Initial forecasts for 2016 were 1.75 million, but actual acreage was 1.7 million. That’s down from 1.78 million acres in 2015. North Dakota accounted for the greatest portion of the 2016 total, with 1.4 million canola acres planted.

Oklahoma State University (OSU) Cooperative Extension is hosting two winter canola schools this week in the region to show growers how to add this crop to their rotations. Sessions will focus on nutrient recommendations and in-furrow applications; insect, disease and weed management; tips on variety selections for specific locations and production systems; and marketing considerations for canola. The schools also will provide a planter calibration demonstration at each site and individuals can earn 2.5 certified crop adviser continuing education units. “Many wheat producers have experienced significant value and benefits by growing winter canola as part of their crop rotation, taking advantage of solid canola prices while also helping to clean up their wheat fields without taking on undue management costs,” said Josh Lofton, OSU Extension cropping systems specialist.

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