Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Canola Quick Bytes December 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Economic Research Service issued a report this week called “The Adoption of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa, Canola and Sugarbeets in the United States.” It noted that 1.3 million acres of canola, with a production value of $456 million, were harvested in the United States in 2013—95 percent of which was from biotech herbicide-tolerant canola varieties. North Dakota, Oklahoma, Montana, Idaho and Washington accounted for 96 percent of U.S. canola production.


Cibus has developed the first gene-edited canola—non-transgenic sulfonylurea (SU) herbicide-tolerant SU CanolaTM—which can be sold as non-GM, according to PostBulletin. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 acres of this new canola were grown in North Dakota with some trials in Minnesota. Cibus is offering a SU Canola Grower Program, including volume and loyalty bonuses. Cargill is also offering more money for harvested SU Canola than traditional canola.

“If you’ve got the weather conditions and that investment dollar to spray, I recommend it,” Canola Council of Canada’s agronomy specialist Keith Gabert told Country Guide when asked whether to spray canola with fungicide to prevent sclerotinia stem rot. But making that decision regarding blackleg is more complicated as it is generally managed with good genetic variety resistance, not fungicide. And it’s easier to predict the risk of blackleg than sclerotinia.


Cargill has announced that it is developing a new omega-3 canola oil that could boost both fish and human nutrition. This genetically engineered canola is designed to make long chain omega-3 fats EPA and DHA that can replace fish oil in aquaculture feed rations. Trials conducted with salmon in Chile did just that. Further, commercialization of the EPA-DHA-rich canola oil would make these omega-3s – cited for their heart and brain benefits – for people around the globe.

Perhaps it’s no secret these days that excess belly fat increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. But what’s new is a suggestion from Penn State University researchers that including canola oil as part of a heathy diet may actually reduce abdominal fat in as little as a month. “As a general rule, you can’t target weight loss to specific body regions,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition at Penn State. “But monounsaturated fatty acids seem to specifically target abdominal fat.” In a randomized trial, canola oil and high-oleic-acid canola oil were each correlated with a quarter pound decrease in abdominal fat mass over a four-week period, compared with a diet that included flax and safflower oil.

Other Country News

Recent warm weather in Manitoba has the canola crop there almost fully harvested, with the remaining unharvested acres down to a few thousand. This improvement comes after a very wet fall that had prevented farmers from getting into the fields and harvesting their crop. But now the concern is shifting to storage of a crop that is being moved into bins at high moisture. “I’ve heard of canola going into the bin as high as 16 percent,” Clint Jurke, an agronomist with the Canola Council of Canada, told the Manitoba Co-Operator. “It would be a shame to get it this far, and then lose it right at the end.”

Latest Industry News

The 20th annual Canola Expo is just days away. Held at the Langdon (N.D.) Activity Center, registration for the Dec. 6 event kicks off at 9 a.m. along with the opportunity to sign up for door prizes. Organized by the Northern Canola Growers Association, the Canola Expo will offer presentations on canola and soybean rotations and row spacing studies, canola disease and Farm Bill issues, and a canola culinary program. Other highlights of the one-day event include a trade show exhibition floor, complimentary lunch and keynote address by Bruce Vincent, a third-generation logger and expert on U.S. rural culture.

There’s still time to register for the Minnesota Canola Council’s 2016 symposium, “Go for the Gold: Add Canola to Your Team & Reduce Risks in a Competitive Environment.” Free to Minnesota and North Dakota farmers and university personnel, the Roseau, Minn., event is scheduled for Dec. 14. The agenda features an in-depth market outlook, update on canola research, review of crop insurance products and a look at singulating canola seed to potentially cut costs. An afternoon social hour, funny money auction and nine opportunities to win 20 acres worth of canola seed round out the rest of the day. Visit for more information or to pre-register online until Dec. 7.

Canola College 2017
, sponsored by the Great Plains Canola Association, is scheduled Jan. 19 in Enid, Okla. The fifth annual event at the Chisholm Trail EXPO Center, includes all-day educational and training opportunities for canola growers, crop insurance and agricultural government agents, and canola industry service and product providers. For more information or to register, visit

About the USCA

It’s not too early to start making plans to attend next year’s USCA annual membership and board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C. The Feb. 27-March 1, 2017 event will be at the Hotel George and rooms are already available for reservation at a reduced rate. Book online or call 1-800-546-7866 before Jan. 27 to lock in the $249 per night hotel rate, and navigate over to our site to sign up for the event.

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