Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol News

On Nov. 20, the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) and Northern Canola Growers Association representatives met with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials to reiterate concerns about the value of canola in the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). On a related note, several Democrat senators, led by Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, released a letter and report highlighting regional disparities in MFP payments. Likewise, on Nov. 1, House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue about concerns with the MFP. Meanwhile, the USDA released its second tranche of MFP payments to producers, representing 25 percent of all 2019 payments. The first tranche accounted for 50 percent and a third tranche for the balance may be released in early 2020.

Congress and the Trump Administration continue work toward a final U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement. House leaders are working with the Administration on the legislative text. But it remains uncertain if the USMCA will be voted on by the end of 2019. Negotiations also continue on a potential “phase one” agreement with China that could suspend tariffs and confirm China will increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products. Such an agreement would not require Congressional approval.

Prior to Thanksgiving, Congress passed another Continuing Resolution (CR) through Dec. 21. It will keep the government operating at previous fiscal year levels while Congress negotiates and passes fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills. The FY20 agriculture appropriations bill has already cleared the House and Senate and awaits final conference committee agreement to work out the differences in the two versions.

The USCA submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its supplemental notice regarding Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for biodiesel. The USCA is pushing the EPA to straight-forwardly address SREs based on waivers actually granted rather than the partial approach proposed by the agency, which would create significant uncertainty for the biofuel market. The USCA and its biodiesel industry partners also continue to push Congress to enact a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit that expired at the end of 2017. The USCA signed onto a coalition letter to Congressional leadership urging action on a tax extenders package by year-end.


In addition to battling a trade war with China, Canadian canola acreage has been hit hard with a difficult harvest due to heavy rain and snow, leaving millions of acres of canola buried until spring. “Overall, canola futures are down 3% year over year in the world’s biggest canola-growing country despite harvest problems that would typically lift prices,” says Rod Nickel of Reuters.


In an effort to reduce saturated fat in their snack foods by more than 80 percent, PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand are changing their cooking oil to canola. Products include favorites such as Doritos, Tostitos, Twisties and Burger Fries. The healthy move was driven by the subsidiary’s desire to make healthier choices and source Australian canola oil.

Other Country News

Canola producers in Canada remain optimistic about their future trade with China as it has decided to lift the meat ban resulting from the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. The ban on canola, which began in December 2018, has resulted in a loss of over $270 million in exports to date.

Latest Industry News

Rabobank hosted a Global Farmers Master Class in Brazil, which provided insights about today’s food system. Participants noted a disconnect between farm and fork (food producers and public), need to add value to crops and shift towards plant-based foods.

About the USCA

For the first time in history, the USCA held a meeting in the Pacific Northwest as a testament to canola’s importance in the region. About 233,000 acres, representing 12 percent of national acreage, was grown in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon in 2018. That’s enough to supply a whopping 40 percent of the full-capacity Viterra crushing facility in Warden, Wash. Learn more about canola in the region in this month’s USCA Blog as well as on

The USCA gave its website a facelift, updated its content and made it mobile phone friendly. Check out for a modern look and current information about all things canola from its roots to end products.

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Happy Holidays from the USCA! We wish you and your loved ones a joyful season.