Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services released in January the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, which are intended to help consumers eat healthier and prevent diet-related health problems. The guidelines note that canola oil is an important part of a healthy diet, providing both healthy fats and vitamin E; it’s also lower in unhealthy saturated fat than other oils and a good replacement for solid fats such as butter. Read more about how canola oil can help Americans meet the government’s dietary fat recommendations in the USCA blog.

Campbell’s Soup announced its support for mandatory biotech labeling of foods, reported the Associated Press. Campbell’s does not dispute the safety of these foods, but believes consumers have a right to know. The announcement represents a change in position for the company as well as a break with many food industry groups that support voluntary labeling. That’s the current approach of the USDA, which is developing its own voluntary labeling program, and a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed a voluntary labeling bill in July 2015.

The Trade Benefits America Coalition, a group of more than 275 associations, businesses and agricultural groups, including the U.S. Canola Association, issued a statement supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), calling it “a crucial opportunity to promote American leadership.” The TPP eliminates over 18,000 taxes in the form of tariffs that various countries have levied on products made in America. Key tax cuts in the agreement are intended to help American farmers and ranchers expand their exports.


Canola College will be Feb. 18 in Enid, Okla. Topics will include variety selection, insect management and advanced production practices. A new addition this year is the Canola Learning Laboratory, offering hands-on demonstrations and the chance to interact with specialists.
Bayer CropScience continued to promote its new shatter-resistant hybrid, InVigor® L140P, at educational sessions in the U.S. and Canada. “We believe canola is a profitable and important rotation crop for farmers across North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota,” said Kristie Sundeen, Bayer’s North Central sales lead, at an event in Minot, N.D. The variety was also introduced to Alberta growers as advantageous for straight-cutting. Experts said the trait reduces the risk of shatter loss, but proper equipment is also key to achieve the method’s higher yields and better quality.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stopped a shipment of canola meal from a Bunge plant in Hamilton, Ont., in December, after finding it appeared to contain Salmonella bacteria, Reuters reported. A company spokesperson said the agency had tested subsequent shipments from Bunge and all were negative, shipping as usual without restrictions.


Your muscles will thank you for choosing canola oil, according to an article in Men’s Fitness. Canola oil is high in omega-3 fat (unlike coconut oil), which helps reduce muscle inflammation following exercise.

It’s low in saturated fat but high in heat tolerance: These are among the reasons two registered dietitians choose canola oil over vegetable oil. The Yahoo! article noted that canola oil has the least saturated fat of all common cooking oils as well as a light texture and taste, making it the perfect ingredient for everything from dressings to desserts.

Speaking of desserts, Canada’s National Post suggested that canola oil can replace butter in some baked goods, making for heart-healthier results. The article also highlighted canola’s neutral taste.

Other Country News

The Chinese market has focused on oil rather than meal lately, propping up canola prices (since the crop has more than twice the oil content of soybeans), and driving strong Chinese demand for Canadian canola, according to The Western Producer. At the end of January, canola futures fell slightly, even though Canadian crop markets were relatively strong compared to steep declines in other markets. Absent a crop disaster, experts said a sustainable rally was unlikely as long as the U.S. dollar remains strong.

Canadian canola can now tout a climate advantage. According to The Western Producer, Canadian canola producers create lower amounts of greenhouse gases than producers in other regions. Studies have found that soil organic carbon increased in prairie soil when producers adopted strategies such as zero tillage and reduced summer fallow acreage. Rising levels of carbon stored in the soil reduce Canada’s net greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 percent annually.

Scientists in Western Australia published a paper concluding that biotech, herbicide-resistant seeds can escape into native bushland, but the situation is manageable, reported ABC Rural. Australian farmers have been growing glyphosate-resistant canola since 2008, but this was the first study of its kind in the country. They found that in some cases, the biotech canola failed to establish after the seeds escaped; where it did establish, it could simply be treated with alternative herbicides.

Latest Industry News

Viterra announced a supply and marketing agreement with Pacific Coast Canola (PCC), which said that PCC will crush canola for Viterra at its Warden, Wash. plant, according to the Columbia Basin Herald. In addition, a Viterra affiliate, Glencore Grain Investment, increased its ownership in PCC from a minority stake to 50 percent for no cash consideration. McKinstry Holdings acquired the remaining 50 percent ownership in PCC.

Growers, agribusiness and local and state government representatives were among nearly 300 attendees at three Washington State University (WSU) oilseed workshops in January, noted Karen Sowers, WSU extension and outreach specialist. Topics of interest included livestock integration with canola and rotation strategies when introducing alternative crops (e.g., canola, triticale, winter peas, flax) in a cereal rotation. A Viterra representative was at each workshop to discuss its role in the PCC processing facility. PowerPoint presentations from the workshops will be posted online.

In December, nearly 100 producers, university personnel and industry representatives attended “Manage Canola Inputs and Watch Your Profits Grow,” the Minnesota Canola Council’s annual winter meeting in Roseau, Minn. Leading researchers and industry representatives in the area spoke about improving canola yield and quality, the market outlook and controlling volunteer canola. The Council also hosted two “Manage Canola Inputs and Watch Your Profits Grow” canola schools in January in Argyle and St. Hilaire, Minn.

About the USCA

The U.S. Canola Association’s (USCA’s) annual membership and board of directors meeting will be at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22-24, 2016. Register online and submit payment.

The USCA is engaged with social media! Please join us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for a multi-faceted look into the world of canola.

For deeper discussions of key issues impacting the U.S. canola industry, visit the USCA blog. The current topic is the new dietary guidelines.

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