Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

In a January letter to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, a coalition of 16 farm organizations, including the U.S. Canola Association, asked the new administration for help in protecting U.S. agriculture via trade agreements. They emphasized the importance of agricultural trading relationships with the United States’ largest export markets-China, Canada and Mexico.


The Alberta Farmer Express reported that a researcher at Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures may have found a way for canola farmers to detect sclerotinia stem rot using nano-biosensors in place of simply visually scouting for the disease. If the sensor counts a number of spores that could trigger the disease, it sends a text to the farmer. That’s good news because scouting for signs of sclerotinia isn’t always effective in identifying it, and it’s also time consuming.

Most of us have probably heard about the heart health and brain benefits of eating fish due to its omega-3 (EPA/DHA) fat content. But for farmed fish to provide sufficient EPA/DHA to consumers, the fish have to consume it themselves. Yet the supply of fish oil, which traditionally provides EPA/DHA, is both limited and expensive. Enter BASF and Cargill, who have recently developed canola with EPA/DHA-enriched oil that can replace fish oil in aquaculture diets. In fact, Cargill showed in salmon feeding trials in Chile that it could totally replace fish oil with its new canola oil in feed rations.



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes that canola oil has the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat. But what else should you know about the oil? For one, canola has the most plant-based omega-3 fat of all common cooking oils. And for nine other great facts, check out this article in Parade magazine.

In recent decades, the consumption of omega-6 fat has increased in typical Western diets, while the consumption of omega-3 fat has decreased. This is concerning, as omega-6 can be pro-inflammatory, exascerbating chronic inflammatory diseases while omega-3 helps fight them as an anti-inflammatory. Health24 recommends taking steps to reverse the ratio in our diets by eating more fatty fish and canola oil.

Other Country News

This year marks both the 150th anniversary of Canada and the 50th anniversary of the canola industry. To mark the occasion, the canola industry and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum are launching a national tour to celebrate and educate. Canola: A Canadian Story of Innovation kicks off at the Canola Council of Canada’s “Good as Gold” 50th annual convention in Winnipeg on March 7.

Western Newfoundland may soon join its Canadian compatriots in canola farming. Though the crop hasn’t traditionally been farmed in the province, a recent experiment by the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods found that planting canola on the island’s west coast produced yields on par with the rest of Atlantic Canada, CBC reported.

Latest Industry News

In the U.S. Canola Association’s latest blog, Karen Sowers, extension and outreach specialist for oilseeds in the department of crop and soil sciences at Washington State University, makes the case for a Pacific Northwest Canola Growers Association.

There is still time to attend Washington State University’s oilseed workshop on Feb. 2 in Clarkston. The full-day event includes presentations and strategies to help farmers get the most out of adding an oilseed crop like canola to their rotations. The cost to attend is just $20 and includes lunch, refreshments and an end-of-day social with others in the industry.

About the USCA

The USCA’s annual membership and board of directors meeting begins this month at the Hotel George in Washington, D.C. Registration for the Feb. 27 to March 1 meeting is $200 and can be completed online.

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