Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
On Nov. 15, the U.S. Congress cleared the Continuing Resolution (CR) and farm bill extension. First the House passed the measure by a vote of 336-95, then the Senate by a vote of 87-11. The CR avoids a government shutdown and extends funding for several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through Jan. 19, 2024, and others through Feb. 2, 2024. The farm bill was extended until Sept. 30, 2024.
While the current farm bill has been extended through Sept. 30, 2024, discussions have picked up on potential expansions of crop insurance as part of the next farm bill. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow mentioned ideas to expand crop insurance, such as increasing premium subsidies for Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and Enhanced Coverage Option and/or opening up the cotton Stacked Income Protection Program (STAX) to other commodities. The STAX program provides coverage of up to 90% with a premium support up to 80%. Other senators on the committee are working on proposals that would increase premium support for the 80% and 85% coverage levels as well as levels and premium supports under the SCO. House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson has also recently voiced support for making crop insurance more affordable and he is looking at different options to do so.
With the end of the spring canola harvest season, growers should think about scouting fields for potential disease, notes Lyle Jenson of Agro Plus inc. He says sclerotinia and blackleg are the two main diseases to look for and evidence can be found in the soil and stubble. Discolored stems or the appearance of sclerotia bodies are warning signs.
The Canadian government and Canola Council of Canada (CCC) are teaming up to put more than $17 million over five years into canola research. Projects will focus on improving yields, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon sequestration among other things. In addition, Curtis Rempel, CCC vice president of crop production and innovation, says funders hope the money will help researchers better understand nutrient stewardship as well.
Canola oil has many uses! Due to its health and culinary benefits, the oil is great for a variety of cuisines and applications from deep-frying to baking. It’s perfect for holiday cooking!
‘Tis the season for baking! Try something unconventional like these candy cane whoopie pies made with canola oil. The oil gives the pies and other baked goods a moist, soft texture with minimal saturated fat. Photo by CanolaInfo.org.
Other Country News
Members of the International Oilseed Producers’ Dialogue held their XXV meeting on Aug. 9, 2023, in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. Topics focused on global challenges related to food, feed and biofuel production and climate change. Members, including the U.S. Canola Association, agreed upon a resolution with the following main points:
- Science and innovation play a central role in meeting global food and energy security needs.
- Comprehensive trade liberalization is required to meet global food and renewable energy demand.
- Input availability is a serious threat to food production.
- No one solution will address climate or production challenges.
Federated Co-operatives Ltd. and AGT Foods unveiled a 3D model of Saskatchewan’s first renewable diesel plant that will include a canola crushing plant. AGT CEO Murad Al-Katib said to “think of the canola fields of Saskatchewan like the Saudi Arabian oil fields, only every August we harvest a new oil field.” The project is expected to be completed in 2028 and cost upwards of $2.5 billion dollars.
The Canadian canola industry is gearing up for more and more biofuel production, notes Curtis Rempel of the Canola Council of Canada, and some producers are even dedicating acreage to it. The Canadian federal and Manitoba governments announced in June 2023 funding for Azure Sustainable Fuels to do an engineering design study for a sustainable aviation fuel plant near Portage la Prairie. This was the same month Canada’s first stand-alone renewable diesel refinery by Tidewater Renewables completed construction in British Columbia. Meanwhile, Ceres, Viterra, Richardson and Cargill are all building new canola crushing plants in Saskatchewan. Rempel attributes all of this to rising biofuel demand. “To meet this demand, we’ve had the strategy to increase yields and not acreage, and breeding for yield increase will continue … for all three canola end uses: food, feed and fuel,” he says. “We will continue to learn which profiles will be best for biofuels and unlock the true potential of canola oil.”
Canola producer groups in Western Canada have launched a new campaign called “Hello Canola” aimed at educating the Canadian public about canola. Lynn Weaver, who co-leads the initiative, says that it’s nearly a $30 billion dollar industry yet many Canadians don’t understand the benefits of one of its top crops.
Registration is open for the Canadian Crop Convention by the Canola Council of Canada and Canadian Grains Council March 5-7, 2024, at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. J.P. Gervais, vice-president and chief economist at Farm Credit Canada, will share his analysis and outlook on global supply and demand for grains and oilseeds. Participants will also gain insights into advancements and trends in the industry.
Latest Indistry News
Leaders of major U.S. agribusinesses expect the farm economy to remain quite strong through next year despite higher interest rates and softening commodity markets due to the surge in biofuel demand. Archer Daniels Midland CEO Juan Luciano says U.S. renewable diesel production is poised to reach 5 billion gallons in the next few years and sustainable aviation fuel will also grow significantly by 2026-27. Greg Heckman, CEO of Bunge, added that demand for renewable diesel is “definitely a tail wind” for the industry.
Canadian canola oil shipments to the United States are surging as its renewable diesel industry ramps up. Canada exported a record 2.6 million tonnes of canola oil in 2022-23, accounting for 86 percent of total Canadian exports. That number is expected to rise to 7 million tonnes over the next five years if all of the announced plants are built and operate at 90 percent capacity.
In order to keep up with renewable fuel demand, Scoular, in partnership with Kansas and Oklahoma growers, has introduced a new program called “Canola MVP.” This program will give growers access to Kansas State and Oklahoma State University agronomists to provide guidance on seed varieties and local production. Wheat-canola rotations can increase profitability by up to 20 percent more than a continuous wheat rotation, according to a Kansas State University study. Interested producers should contact their local Scoular elevator or visit scoularview.com.
Epitome Energy LLC announced on Nov. 15 that its forthcoming soybean processing facility in Grand Forks, N.D., will also eventually process “soft” seeds, including canola, sunflowers and camelina. The cost of the project is now estimated at $455 million.
The NCGA gave Pat Murphy of Minot (left) and Jon Wert of New England outstanding service awards at its recent annual meeting in Minot, N.D. They were thanked for several years of service on the NCGA Board of Directors.
The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) has created a free canola curriculum for teachers, said NCGA Communications Specialist Lindy Coutts on Red River Farm Network’s “Canola Minute”. The curriculum covers canola “from the seed to the final consumer.” The materials can be obtained via 701-223-4124 or northerncanola.com/.
About the USCA
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Happy Holidays from the USCA! Wishing you a wonderful festive season and start to the new year!