Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
On June 21, the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) submitted comments on topics and questions related to the development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 as requested on Regulations.gov. The comments highlight studies supporting the health benefits of canola oil in the diet for people of all ages and health statuses. Canola oil has Generally Recognized as Safe status for use in infant formula and qualified health claims from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its ability to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both commodity and high-oleic versions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering new Conservation Innovation Grants to stimulate the development and adoption of novel conservation approaches and technologies. One goal is augmentation of pollinator habitats and canola is a good fit. Up to $12.5 million in grants is available with $2 million maximum per award in the 2019 fiscal year. All non-federal entities residing in U.S. states or territories are invited to apply online by July 30, 2019 at 5 pm EST.
Dr. Henry Miller, senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, explains in The Federalist why the reintroduced Saving America’s Pollinators Act, which calls for withdraw of eight neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”), is misguided. It “would usurp the EPA’s deliberate, scientific review process in favor of a ban based on nothing more than environmentalists’ scare-mongering,” he says. Neonics help boost pollinator habitats like canola fields, which are crucial to the survival of bees, he adds, and contrary to popular belief, the U.S. bee population is rising. Miller believes the U.S. act was likely prompted by the European Union’s 2019 ban on outdoor uses of neonics, which was passed without any scientific evidence that they are harmful to bees or humans. European farmers are now unable to benefit from these products. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sowers.)
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its June 28 planted and harvested acres report. The 2019 U.S. canola planted acreage is at 2,018,000, up 27,000 acres from 2018 or 1.4%. Total harvested acres are at 1,986,000. Planted acres by state are: North Dakota 1,700,000; Montana 120,000; Washington 75,000; Minnesota 59,000; Oklahoma 35,000; and Kansas 29,000. While there were no estimates for Idaho or Oregon this year, 2018 estimates likely close at 43,000 and 4,700, respectively.
Growing a crop and having it attacked by insects is very frustrating. Understanding what’s “bugging” them may help farmers fight back. Real Agriculture outlines common insects to look out for in canola plants, including diamondback moths, bertha armyworms, aster leafhoppers and flea beetles.
Canola or vegetable oil, which is healthier? Women’s Health takes an in-depth look at cooking oils and notes that canola oil is healthier because it is “higher in monounsaturated fats and omega-3s than standard vegetable oil, which are linked to a host of benefits including cancer prevention and cognitive development.” The article also mentions that canola oil is great for cooking due to its neutral flavor.
The Straits Times sets readers straight on why certain dietary fats are healthier than others. Monounsaturated fat in canola oil, for example, is healthy due to its molecular structure that makes it liquid at room temperature.
Other Country News
With no end in sight for the Canada-China trade dispute, the Canadian government is boosting an insurance program for canola exporters looking for new buyers. The insurance, provided by Export Development Canada, will help exporters mitigate risks in alternative markets. In June, a Canadian delegation, led by Trade Minister Jim Carr, traveled to Japan and South Korea to encourage more canola seed purchases.
Kevin Waslaski, a North Dakota canola farmer, worries about the declining value of canola in North America amidst the geopolitical trade dispute with China, reports AgWeek. He says that canola was trading at “17 cents per pound early last winter and has since dropped to mid-14 cents range in the last four months.” Unfortunately, there’s not much American farmers can do but wait and enroll in the Market Facilitation Program for 2019 crops.
Latest Industry News
North Dakota State University’s (NDSU’s) North Central Research Extension Center will host a field day on July 17 one mile south of Minot, N.D., on U.S. Highway 83. Topics will include clubroot control in canola and new crop traits. The day will begin with a pest clinic at 8:30 am, followed by welcome coffee at 9 am and conclude with lunch at noon.
NDSU’s Langdon Research Extension Center is partnering with the Northern Canola Growers Association to host an annual field day and plot tours on July 18 one mile east of Langdon on North Dakota Highway 5. Participation is free of charge and will run from 8 am-12 pm. Topics will include the benefits of full-season cover crops, insects in the 2019 growing season and canola clubroot outbreaks affecting northeastern N.D.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, is in a battle between vegetable seed and canola crops, reports Civil Eats. On July 1, a law restricting the cultivation of canola crops to 500 acres expires in the region and both vegetable and canola farmers are fighting over the right to plant what they want on 1.5 million acres of prime farmland. Although existing canola acres have cleared a pathway for expanding production, specialty vegetable seeds have high quality standards for varietal and genetic purity that canola plants don’t so their producers do not welcome more canola. A solution for co-existence is pending.
Oklahoma canola crops could be delayed with fewer acres than usual, according to ABC8 in Tulsa. Tornadoes and flooding in June damaged crops. Farmers struggling from these conditions should qualify for assistance from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
About the USCA
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The USCA will host its fall board of directors meeting in Spokane, Wash., Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 12-14, 2019. Registration is online.
Want to promote your products or services to canola producers and industry members? Visit the USCA advertising sections online to find specs, deadlines and rates to advertise in this monthly e-newsletter or on UScanola.com.