Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott and Ranking Member Glenn “GT” Thompson opened an online form for agricultural stakeholders to submit feedback on the 2023 Farm Bill. Scott says it’s a great opportunity for policymakers to hear directly from farmers to ensure his committee prioritizes their needs. “Hearing directly from farm country about what’s working and what’s not is the only way to ensure we craft a bill that meets the needs of rural America,” Thompson adds. Photo by Ray Mossman of Idaho.
Clean Fuels Alliance America sent a letter to President Joe Biden and other administration officials highlighting the renewable diesel industry’s contribution to job growth and encouraging tax policy in support of additional investments, capacity expansion and job creation. Clean Fuels’ Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik says he “encourages the administration to continue its strong support for homegrown solutions to our economic and environmental challenges.”
Diamondback moths can be a huge problem for canola growers. Jordan Bannerman, entomologist with the University of Manitoba, goes through the moth’s lifecycle in a video on RealAgriculture.com to help growers understand how to treat it. He says early July is a great time to start scouting for the plant-eating caterpillars that become moths as they can have four generations in one season. If economically damaging levels of the pest are found, he advises not spraying during flowering if possible to protect pollinators.
A research project funded by BASF has pledged $1.25 million for researchers to study clubroot resistance in canola and develop new resistant varieties. University of Alberta plant scientists Stephen Strelkov and Sheau-Fang Hwang are working on the five-year project to explore 30 varieties of canola for clubroot resistance as well as pathogen material. The duo will test and characterize which resistance genes protect against new strains of pathogens. Ultimately, they hope to “bring novel and advanced tools to market.”
Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman discussed 2023 canola acreage in the Red River Farm Network’s “Canola Minute.” While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated in its June report 1.57 million acres in North Dakota this year – down 10 percent from March – Coleman says this figure will likely be adjusted upwards to 1.75 million. The United States is predicted to have a total of 1.95 million acres of canola nationwide.
Royal DSM NV of the Netherlands unveiled its new CanolaPro canola protein for human consumption, which it will begin producing this fall. It is sourced from non-GMO canola-quality rapeseed that is left over from seed processing. The protein delivers a clean taste with a smooth mouthfeel, the company says. Potential applications for the protein include burger and dairy alternatives, bread, sauces, juices and smoothies.
Did you know that canola oil has two qualified health claims? In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized one on canola oil’s ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to its high unsaturated fat content. The claim states that consuming about 1.5 tablespoons of canola oil a day in place of saturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. In 2018, the same claim was authorized by the FDA for high-oleic canola oil.
Other Country News
China is expected to increase canola seed imports from 1.9 million tons in 2022 to 2.7 million in 2023. While significant, this increase is far lower than the 4 million tons it used to import before its trade dispute with Canada. But if China were to resume its historically high imports now, Canada would need other markets to assist in meeting demand due to the war in Ukraine and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic squeezing oilseed supplies and driving up prices.
The Canadian government unveiled plans for Clean Fuel Regulation (CFR) to increase biofuel demand and production. The CFR is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to nearly 27 million tons by 2030 and focuses on the carbon intensity of fuels instead of volume. The Canola Council of Canada is delighted with the new CFR and will work to “minimize regulatory burden and allow canola to be used to reduce GHG emissions through biofuel production,” says President Jim Everson.
Canola farmers in southern Ontario are fed up with selfie takers as dozens of non-farmers have cause thousands of dollars of damage to their crops while trying to capture the perfect photo in blooming, yellow fields. Police are urging people not to stop on the side of the road and wander into fields, threatening trespassing charges. “These lands are owned by private people, and in this case, farmers [who] are trying to make a living,” notes Bill McCutcheon, president of the Dufferin Federation of Agriculture. People should “stay out.”
Latest Industry News
In this month’s USCA Blog, Dr. Jim Radtke of Cibus discusses the value of gene editing in bringing new canola traits to farmers, such as pod shatter reduction, Sclerotinia resistance and nitrogen use efficiency. “Gene editing can be used by plant breeders as part of conventional breeding programs to develop new traits faster and more precisely than ever before,” he notes.
Ceres Global Ag Corp announced it will suspend construction plans on its Saskatchewan canola crushing plant due to a variety of factors, including inflation and shifting macroeconomics. The agricultural giant announced the project in May 2021, pledging $350 million to help meet the growing demand for canola products. Ceres says it will consider a canola crushing plant in the future, but there is “no guarantee it will come into fruition.” Competitors Cargill, Richardson International and Viterra revealed similar plans around the same time in 2021, but it is unclear if Ceres’ decision will impact them. Competitors Cargill, Richardson International and Viterra revealed similar plans around the same time in 2021.
The new Cargill canola processing facility at the Global Transportation Hub in Regina, Saskatchewan broke ground on July 19. The $350 million plant will crush 1 million tonnes of #canola each year, producing about 43 million tonnes of #canolaoil.
About the USCA
At a special meeting in Minot, N.D., July 6-8, U.S. Canola Association (USCA) members and staff gathered to look at canola fields of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) North Central Research Extension Center, Murphy Farms in Carpio and Hunskor-Thorenson Farms in Newburg. Updates were given by NDSU experts on seeding rates, flea beetles and other canola pests, seed treatments, weed control and weed resistance prevention. USCA Past-President Pat Murphy hosted the meeting and growers Jeff Aalund (as seen on BBC-TV’s “Follow the Food” about regenerative farming), Kelly Thorenson and Todd Hunskor provided insights from their farms. Due to delayed seeding by about a week this spring, canola flowers were just emerging instead of blooming during the visit. Drone photo courtesy of Shawn Murphy.
The USCA will host its autumn board meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 9-11. More on UScanola.com.
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