Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Captiol Hill

Read the U.S. Canola Association’s (USCA’s) latest blog post — “Farm Bill Funding May Test Traditional Alliances” — by John Gordley, USCA executive director and owner of government relations firm Gordley Associates. He says that while farm organizations are putting pressure on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to increase agricultural spending, most lawmakers agree it is unlikely to impossible. Opponents are becoming more outspoken against farm and food safety nets. Therefore, Gordley writes, “each segment of the community that benefits from the farm bill, from farmers to conservationists to the anti-hunger community, must join together in advocating new legislation in 2018.”

The USCA has requested that the current federal crop insurance program rotational requirements for canola coverage eligibility in the Special Provisions of Insurance be revised to two from three years for the 2019 crop year in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Indiana. A two-year rotation is already allowed in other states, with conditions in Minnesota and North Dakota, but only a four-year rotation is allowed in southeast/mid-south states. In response to the requested change, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Risk Management Agency has begun “a preliminary review” that may be “multi-regional.” To locate federal crop insurance program counties and other information, visit the agency’s Actuarial Information Browser.

The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced the recipients of nearly $5 million in grants for research to increase the productivity, profitability and stewardship of canola, potato and alfalfa. Funded through three NIFA programs, the grants will “help sustain and expand the acreage and use of alfalfa, potatoes and canola for long-lasting impacts through collaborations between universities, federal agencies and industry organizations around the country,” says NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. The three canola-focused programs are supported by the University of Idaho, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University.


The enrollment period has begun for the USDA’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage crop insurance programs, which will run until Aug. 1, 2018. “Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers must enroll by signing a contract each program year,” said Steve Peterson of the Farm Service Agency. “I encourage producers to contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment to enroll.” The programs are in the 2014 Farm Bill to offer farmers a safety net when there is a substantial drop in revenue for covered commodities, including canola.

Canola is no greater risk to specialty seed producers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley than turnips, radishes and other related crops, according to a three-year study from Oregon State University (OSU). The research began after lawmakers ordered a six-year moratorium in 2013 on most canola production, following a request from the specialty seed industry that considered canola a threat. But the study found “it’s feasible that canola can be grown in the Willamette Valley,” notes Carol Mallory-Smith, OSU weed science professor. “There’s no reason to treat canola differently.” The results have now been turned over to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which has another year to develop its recommendations for canola cultivation in the region.


Low-carb diets are more effective for weight loss and lowering heart disease risk than low-fat diets, according to a study from Tulane University published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. For one year, the study followed 148 obese participants divided into two groups — one on a diet of less than 40 grams of carbohydrates per day and the other consuming less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat. After 12 months, the low-carb group reported weight loss of nearly eight pounds more on average than the low-fat group, while also experiencing a boost in good cholesterol levels. But while the low-carb participants got about 41 percent of daily calories from fat, those calories came mostly from healthy fats like canola oil rather than from saturated fat sources like butter.

Top chefs can agree on one thing: When it comes to high-temperature cooking, opt for canola oil. “It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and, because it’s so neutral, it’s not going to change the flavor of what I’m making,” says celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who uses canola oil 98 percent of the time when cooking, in Bon Appetit. The same goes for the chefs behind Boston’s Southeast Asian restaurant Myers + Chang.

This holiday season, be prepared to make a healthy meal at the last minute by keeping certain essentials on hand all the time. According to Registered Dietitian Katherine Brooking, one of those pantry staples should be canola oil. That’s because it has a light, neutral flavor, making it perfect for cooking and baking. And on top of that, because canola oil is low in saturated fat, it’s also heart-healthy.

Other Country News

Canadian agricultural exporters are putting pressure on their government to reach a trade deal with the 11 remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership, reports the Manitoba Co-Operator. According to Rick White, CEO of the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the TPP “provides a framework to diversify [Canada’s] export markets and expand Canada’s trade within the Asia-Pacific region.” Additionally, the TPP promised to establish more predictable trade rules and recalibrate tariff rates that make Canadian canola competitive with oilseeds from other countries. In fact, the TPP member nations imported more than $2 billion of Canadian canola in 2016. “Each year that passes without implementation means that Canada falls further behind our main competitor in the Asia-Pacific region — risking our current $1.2 billion annual exports to Japan,” notes Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada.

The European Commission has cleared the use of glyphosate for the next five years, following a heated debate among the 28-member states over whether the herbicide causes cancer. The EU’s previous 15-year approval of glyphosate expired in June 2016, but legislators signed an 18-month extension while the European Chemicals Agency completed a study to determine if the chemical should be classified as a carcinogen. The conclusion was no, yet nine countries voted against its re-registration. The swing vote in favor of extending the five-year license came from Germany, which had abstained from voting in previous meetings. Meanwhile, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert says his country will continue to push for a rapid phasing out of glyphosate in favor of “safer alternatives.”

The Canola Council of Canada held its first official Canola Dialogue between Chinese and Canadian industry and government officials in November to discuss stable and open canola trade. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Canola Council of Canada and China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs. It facilitates communication on regulations that affect trade and industry meetings and exchanges. While in China, the Council also hosted a canola meal research seminar and canola oil media event in Guangzhou to share research on pigs fed canola meal and to highlight canola oil’s health benefits.

Latest Inustry News

A ruling from the U.S. Department of Commerce that would impose new antidumping duties on imports of soy biodiesel from Argentina and palm biodiesel from Indonesia could mean increased demand for Canadian canola oil. The new duties range from 54 to 70 percent for Argentina and 51 percent for Indonesia — on top of countervailing duties. This means a “full-on stop of biodiesel imports to the U.S. from Argentina and Indonesia,” notes Scott Irwin, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois in The Western Producer. In 2016, the U.S. imported 2.1 billion liters of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. That leaves Canada as a likely replacement, with the new demand boosting canola prices.

The 20th Annual Canola Expo of the Northern Canola Growers Association will be Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Langdon. It will feature one of the most engaging and powerful agricultural speakers in the country, Bruce Vincent, along with leading canola agronomists. Vincent is a compelling “tell-it-like-is” motivational speaker who has appeared on news shows such as “60 Minutes” and traveled the world speaking on agricultural issues. His keynote speech is entitled “With Vision, There is Hope.” Other presentations at the Canola Expo will address clubroot and other canola diseases, planting rates and cooking with canola oil. Growers will receive a free lunch and the opportunity to win door prizes.

The Minnesota Canola Council’s Canola Symposium, “New Management Strategies to Reduce Risk & Increase Profit,” will be Dec. 6 at the Roseau Community Center. The event is free for Minnesota and North Dakota farmers and university personnel. It will include a farmer panel discussion, legislative update, crop insurance information and presentation about new innovations in canola production. Participants will also enjoy a happy hour, funny money auction and chance to win 20 acres’ worth of canola seed.

About the USCA

The USCA’s annual spring board and membership meeting will be Feb. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. The association, along with the Honey Bee Health Coalition and the American Honey Producers Association, will host a “We Love Honey Bees” reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 6 to 8 pm in honor of pollinators. Canola is one of many crops that relies on pollinators for production.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) elected former U.S. Canola Association (USCA) President Ryan Pederson last week to its governing board. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency released on Nov. 30 the required volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2018-19: 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for 2019, which is level with 2018 volume requirements and less than the 2.5 billion gallons the NBB and USCA were seeking. The NBB expressed disappointment with the flatline RFS volumes and missed opportunity to promote growth in biodiesel production. The USCA will continue to support the biodiesel industry’s efforts under the Trump administration, including pushing to have the biodiesel tax credit reinstated and included in a year-end tax extenders package, separate from the comprehensive tax reform bill.

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