Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) is part of a chorus of concerns over a potential U.S. rail strike that may occur as early as Dec. 9 when “status quo” deadlines end with negotiations between railroad labor unions and management. Four of 12 unions rejected a proposed agreement so on Nov. 28, the White House urged Congress to take action “to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.” Republicans generally support implementing recommendations by a Presidential Emergency Board appointed by President Joe Biden and Democrats are largely in favor of the negotiated agreement plus additional sick days. The USCA and dozens of agricultural groups are urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation before Dec. 9 on a tentative agreement between railroad unions and management. A strike or lockout – combined with existing challenges in the rail system, at ports, with trucking and record low water levels on the Mississippi River impacting numerous barge shipments – would have harmful consequences for the agricultural and broader U.S. economies. “A rail shutdown would devastate our economy,” warned President Joe Biden. “Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down [and] as many as 765,000 Americans – many union workers themselves – could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone … Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock.”


The University of Idaho hired a new canola breeder: Dr. Kamal Khadka. He will begin in February 2023 as assistant professor of plant breeding in the Department of Plant Sciences. He is currently a post-doctorate research fellow in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. “Dr. Khadka will be expected to lead the breeding program to include the well-established canola, rapeseed and mustard program previously directed by Dr. Jack Brown and conduct innovative and comprehensive teaching (30%) and research (70%),” said Dr. Juliet Marshall, head of @UIdaho’s Department of Plant Sciences.

How are you preparing for next year’s crop? Leighton Blashko of BASF advises thinking of four Ws – who, what, why where – and how. Who are the people you may need to hire to help with the crop. What kind of canola crops are you going to be planting? Why are you growing canola … for a return on investment? Where is your canola going to be planted under which conditions? How are you planning to put the operation together?


Which cooking oils are healthiest? While all vegetable oils have certain health benefits, canola oil is one of the top choices as an everyday cooking oil. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean for policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said in The Washington Post that canola oil is a good source of polyunsaturated fats omega-3 and omega-6, which are essential as they can only be consumed via the diet.

Other Country News

Canola Week 2022 will be Dec. 6-8. The hybrid meeting in Saskatoon, Sask., will feature over 50 experts on a wide range of canola topics. The three-day online registration is $60.

Canadian canola hectares are lower than expected because of this year’s dry spring and hot summer, reported But prices remain high at $19/bushel though down from the summer’s record of $23/bushel. International demand for canola remains high, especially because China re-entered the market as a buyer.

Latest Industry News

The Pacific Northwest Canola Association (PNWCA), Northern Pulse Growers Association and Montana Grain Growers Association is wrapping up today a combined meeting in Great Falls, Mont. On Nov. 28, RealAg Radio Host Shaun Haney recorded a live show there and chatted with PNWCA Executive Director Karen Sowers about U.S. canola acreage, demand and opportunities for growth driven by renewable diesel. Sowers described the demand as “insatiable” and noted the need for agronomic education in her region, which is known for generations of cereal-driven rotations. “Canola is not your father’s wheat,” she noted.     

Burcon and Merit Functional Foods Corporation announced they have partnered with Konscious Foods and Canadian Pacifico Seaweeds to develop a new line of 20 plant-based seafood alternatives made with Merit’s canola and pea proteins. A total of $15.3 million has been committed to the project and they plan to roll out in grocery store freezer aisles and other food channels soon.

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) held its 15th Annual Canola Research Conference recently at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Canola experts gave presentations on flea beetle management and control, improving freezing tolerance, evaluation of clubroot and verticilium stripe, resistance research in canola breeding, effects of seeding date and cultivar on winter canola, and progress at the Minnesota Canola Production Center. Presentations from the conference are available at

The NCGA will hold its Annual Canola Expo Dec. 7-8 in Grand Forks, N.D., in conjunction with the Prairie Grains Conference. The expo will feature presentations on management strategies and tools for flea beetles and Verticilium Stripe. The NCGA’s Annual Business Meeting on Dec. 7 will address potential solutions to high costs of hail insurance for canola.

Agribusiness Corteva purchased Cargill’s high-oleic canola breeding business. Corteva will acquire all intellectual property associated with this business and assets used to develop Cargill’s Victory canola. According to Corteva’s director of grain and oils, the company will continue to develop and supply new varieties to Cargill for its Victory program.

About the USCA

The U.S. Canola Association held its annual autumn board meeting Nov. 9-11 in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the first time. Representatives from all U.S. canola-growing regions discussed agronomic, political and market factors impacting the crop, including biofuels, sustainability and health. Guest speakers were from the Pesticide Policy Coalition, Clean Fuels Alliance America, Canola Council of Canada and Unilever Nutrition North America. USCA staff briefed attendees on the impacts of U.S. midterm elections, appropriations, lame duck agenda, Farm Bill 2023, trade related to biotechnology and crop protection products, canola lifecycle analysis, carbon intensity factors and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2025-30. The next USCA board meeting will be in Washington, D.C., March 14-16, 2023, in conjunction with its annual membership meeting. 

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