In this month’s blog, U.S. Canola Association (USCA) Policy Expert Tom Hance discusses 2020 election results. States will certify votes by Dec. 8, the Electoral College on Dec. 14 and Congress on Jan. 6, which will confirm Joe Biden’s victory. Democrats will still hold the House even though Republicans were able to flip several seats. The Senate majority will be decided in the Georgia run-off election on Jan. 5 . In the weeks ahead, the new Secretary of Agriculture will be nominated, and House Democrats and Republicans will select a new chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) await the results of the Georgia run-off to know which of them will be chair and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is still accepting applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) through Dec. 11. CFAP 2 will provide up to $14 billion in direct support for producers of eligible commodities. Canola is included under the “flat-rate” payment category.
Since Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage have been in place, canola base acres have been paid $403.7 million or $273.51 per acre, according to the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). The average payment for canola increased to $61.51/base acre for the 2019 crop year, up $10 from $50.52 in 2018.
Canola acreage is up in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho! Numbers from the USDA-FSA show increases ranging from 4% in Oregon to 24% in Washington. Totals show roughly 275,000 acres for the four states. Check out maps on the Pacific Northwest Canola Association (PNWCA) website for county by county acreage.
A new video by the PNWCA called “Building Soil Health with Canola Production” features growers in eastern Washington. You may recognize some of the association’s board and grower members in it! Check out the trailer.
Feed your family right this holiday season by cooking with canola oil. The nutrition and cooking section of the USCA website details qualified heath claims about canola oil, including that it may reduce risk of heart disease.
The Hindustan Times touts the use of canola oil for festival foods to combat the health risks of consuming fried foods made in other oils. This is largely due to canola oil’s high percentage of good fats and high smoke point, making it the perfect substitute.
Virtual Canola Week hosted by the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) Dec. 1-3 will be all about research and production. Topics will include the state of the industry, cutting-edge technologies, agronomic issues and canola fertility.
The CCC invites USCA members to join a canola forum to discuss North American supply, global demand and programming for canola utilization and market access. The meeting will be in January 2021. Interested participants should contact Vice President of Public Affairs Brian Innes at email@example.com.
Canola has been gaining ground as a Canadian biofuel during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is largely due to demand for canola oil in restaurants decreasing. Ian Thomson, president of Advanced Biofuels Canada, believes the future of canola oil in biodiesel and renewable diesel production is looking bright in Canada.
CropLife International signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to strengthen relations and augment sustainable food systems. CropLife believes “the future of agriculture depends on new technology and tailor-made innovations that support the digitalization and advancement of the sector.” This partnership promises to promulgate such advancements.
Sustainable packaging producer Danimer Scientific is using canola oil to produce bioplastic certified as marine-degradable, the highest standard of biodegradability. The bioplastic, called Nodax PHA, is created by bacteria that eat canola oil, converting it into PHA. Danimer will supply Bacardi with 100% bioplastic bottles for all of its products by 2023. Nestlé and PepsiCo are other partners. Danimer’s bioplastic will be used to make straws, food and beverage containers, and flexible packaging for agricultural and medical applications.
The Minnesota Canola Council’s Canola Symposium will be virtual this year on Dec. 3. It will cover new innovations in the canola industry, COVID-19’s potential impact on canola markets and how election results may influence agricultural policy. Registration is online.
On Dec. 8, the Northern Canola Growers Association will host its 23rdAnnual Canola Expo online. Jim Wiesemeyer of ProFarmer will headline it. Lesley Kelly of High Heels & Canola Fields will address handling stress and Ven Chapara will discuss clubroot in canola.
The USCA held its autumn board meeting virtually Nov. 5-6, covering an election recap, lame duck agenda and 2021 outlook as well as policy updates related to CFAP2, FY2021 appropriations, renewable diesel, trade, crop protection, biotechnology and conservation programs, including a new pollinator habitat enhancement for canola. The board approved a slightly revised mission statement and updated communications strategy focused on increasing U.S. canola production. The new mission is “to increase domestic canola production to meet growing demand for healthy oil, meal and protein by promoting policies and conditions favorable to growing, marketing, processing and using U.S. canola.” The USCA’s spring board and annual membership meeting will be March 9-11, 2021 in Washington, D.C., pending COVID-19 management.
Listen to Canola Quick Bytes for a change! That’s right, listen. The USCA is debuting this e-newsletter in audio form as of this issue based on farmer demand. Tune in the first day of each month via our YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3kY5Z5V or UScanola.com.
USCA Treasurer Mindy Whittle, Oilseeds Industry Affairs Lead at Bayer U.S. – Crop Science, will retire on Dec. 4. She well served the USCA Board for 10+ years and Monsanto-Bayer for 23 years. “My career … has been one of twists, turns and changes but the one constant has been the wonderful people I have always been fortunate to work with, especially all of you on the canola board,” she wrote. “Together, we tackled some big challenges through the years, but we always did it with integrity and a lot of laughs.” She expressed gratitude for being able to work with “folks who are dedicated to agriculture and who work tirelessly on behalf of farmers.” The USCA sends heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Mindy!
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