Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

Though it expired a few months  ago, the 2018 Farm Bill is poised for reauthorization in the coming weeks. The Senate passed a version of it in June, but the more conservative House held it up with hopes for tighter work requirements. Now that Democrats have regained the House, it looks increasingly likely that a compromise will be reached. The U.S. Canola Association’s (USCA’s) John Gordley has a full analysis on the USCA blog.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for high-oleic oils and reduced risk of heart disease. A review of scientific evidence showed that such oils resulted in a “modest lowering in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to those who ate a more Western-style diet higher in saturated fat,” Food Navigator reported. High-oleic canola oil qualifies for the new claim since it has about 70 percent per serving of monounsaturated fat. “High-oleic canola oil offers a heart-healthy alternative to sources of both trans and saturated fats in food products and food service operations,” stated USCA President Rob Rynning. “It’s good for both the food industry and consumers.”

Politico reported that the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency is expected to finalize a rule on biofuel blending requirements, which will require 19.88 billon gallons of biofuel in the United States under the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard. It hews closely to a June proposal that included a requirement of 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol.


Kansas canola producers, beware: Blackleg has been spotted. Kansas State University canola breeder Mike Stamm told how to spot and anticipate it. “The areas of heaviest fall infection will likely show up as disease hot spots later in the growing season,” he noted.

It’s not just blackleg: Clubroot is also concerning the canola industry, especially in Canada where 37 fields were confirmed infected in Saskatchewan alone. A clubroot distribution map will be released in early 2019 that will combine clubroot detections from 2017 and a survey from 2018. Any growers who notice clubroot outside of the survey are encouraged to notify Canada’s Ministry of Agriculture. “If clubroot is found early, it can be managed much more effectively with minimum impact on yield,” said Barb Ziesman, Ministry of Agriculture plant disease specialist.

Forbes magazine reported that consumers are starting to realize the positive impacts of biotech foods. “Organizations like the World Health Organization, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences all agree that biotech foods are no riskier than their conventionally bred counterparts,” wrote contributor Jenny Splitter. “We can talk about unknown unknowns … but when we see a vegetable that’s eaten in whole food form like the eggplant, for example, in Bangladesh, and we see 62 percent reductions in pesticide use on average, you know that’s a concrete improvement in the safety of food because of biotechnology,” added Dr. Sarah Evanega, plant biologist and director of the Cornell Alliance for Science.


Saveur magazine offered its readers a “Canola Oil 101” lesson that touted its health and culinary benefits. Not only does canola oil have a high smoke point, it has the least saturated fat of any cooking oil. Canola oil “has a wide range of uses in and out of the kitchen, from adding texture and balance to a slew of delicious dishes to slathering it on before bed as a moisturizer, noted writer Ian Burke. “And, it’s pretty healthy—despite what Internet oil trolls (yes, those exist) might have you believe.”

We know that canola is healthy and nutritious for people, but did you know that it’s also good for fish? (NBC Montana) reported that Cargill agronomists are researching the state’s expanding canola crops for aquaculture. By adding a trait to canola for it to produce marine-based omega-3 fat, this new fish feed will take the pressure off bait fish, noted Cargill Agronomist Keith Horton. In short, Montana’s canola fields can help save our oceans. “We can replace 1.7 million pounds of the feeder fish with 160 acres of our canola,” he said. Cargill plans to eventually have at least half a million acres of canola in Montana for commercial use.

Other Country News

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was ratified just in time for Canada to export canola to Asia as soon as January 2019, Alberta Farm Express reported. Canada signed the agreement in late October and Australia is poised to do so shortly, which would make it official between these countries, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Mexico and New Zealand. Though it might take some time before canola producers feel the impact from zero tariffs, it’s expected to greatly expand canola trade. “Canola demand is increasing over time,”  said Bruce Burnett, director of MarketsFarm at Glacier FarmMedia. “We produce record-large crops every year, and the demand for canola seed, meal, and oil seems to move along as well.”

Canada and China trade experts met in Beijing in November to discuss how the two countries can double agricultural trade by 2025 and enact a speedier approval process for biotech products. According to the Canola Council of Canada’s market access policy, biotech seed varieties cannot be commercialized until they have been approved in major markets including China. It’s been six years since applications were submitted to the Chinese government for approval of three biotech canola traits. Once cleared, these varieties are expected to result in 800,000 tonnes more canola every year from the same amount of land and $400 million more income for farmers, according to the council.

Uh oh: An Australian canola oil factory caught fire last month and officials suspect the blaze was set intentionally, reported the Daily Mail Australia. The Melbourne-based factory was completely destroyed and the fire took more than half an hour to extinguish, with damages estimated to exceed $100,000.

Latest Industry News

Viterra officially took over on Nov. 1 Pacific Coast Canola, which has an oilseed processing plant in Walden, Wash., World Grain reported. “Through this facility, we’ve been able to expand our processing capacity and build on the success we’ve achieved at our other crush plants,” said Kyle Jeworski, president and CEO of Viterra North America. “We look forward to achieving our full potential here by continuing to invest in the plant, develop marketing opportunities for farmers in the Pacific Northwest and expanding the local canola market.”

Scientists at Rutgers University have figured out a potential way to reduce the nuisance of invasive mosquito species, noted the Press of Atlantic City. By using canola oil in specialized traps, residents in University Park, Md., saw Asian tiger mosquitos reduced by 76 percent. These mosquitoes are known to be a vector of yellow fever, dengue fever and Zika virus in the southern U.S.

The 21st Annual Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) Canola Expo will be in Langdon, N.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Featured speaker Randy Martinson will focus on oilseed markets and North Dakota State University Extension will discuss the latest on clubroot research. The Expo will also include a trade show and the NCGA’s annual membership meeting.

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the Minnesota Canola Council will host its free Canola Symposium at the Roseau Community Center for regional farmers and university staff. The symposium will include presentations about singulation, direct harvesting, fertility and research results from the council’s 2018 Canola Production Centre. Additional topics will be pest pressures in 2018, canola markets, industry innovations and a farmer panel discussion.

About the USCA

If you missed the National Canola Research Conference in Baltimore last month, USCA Communications Director Angela Dansby provides a round-up in the USCA blog. She summarized symposia on nutrition research and world canola production as well as “spicy” agronomic topics, such as clubroot. “While some good clubroot-resistant canola varieties are available, more research on products such as beet lime need to be urgently done under field conditions along with pathogen race typing,” said Dr. Venkat Chapara of North Dakota State University.

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