Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill to reauthorize the U.S. Grain Standards Act through September 30, 2025. The bill, which passed unanimously, authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service to establish marketing standards for certain grains and oilseeds. It also authorizes official weighing and inspection services. The covered crops include barley, canola, corn, flaxseed, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, triticale, wheat, and mixed grain. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) joined other stakeholders on a letter of support to the Senate Agriculture Committee prior to the mark-up.

On June 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition that sought to invalidate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) existing stocks authority, which it exercised in a June 3 guidance to growers allowing the use of existing inventories of dicamba. The decision was made because the agency did not have enough evidence to support its approval. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler provided clarity for farmers following the decision, stating that the “cancellation and existing stocks order is consistent with EPA’s standard practice following registration invalidation, and is designed to advance compliance, ensure regulatory certainty, and to prevent the misuse of existing stocks.”

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) called on Wheeler to immediately reject the flood of 52 small refinery exemption petitions for previous compliance years. NBB renewed its request that the EPA apply the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s ruling in Renewable Fuels Association v. EPA to all pending exemption petitions. Sixteen U.S. senators also wrote to Wheeler urging that he reject  petitions from oil companies for RFS exemptions.

The USCA and members of the Coalition for Uniformity in Food Ingredient Standards expressed support for an amendment to the House Defense Authorization bill to establish a process for stakeholder input on food ingredient policies at the Department of Defense (DoD). The provision, which was included in the Senate version of the bill, stems from a 2017 decision by the DoD to reduce and restrict commonly used food ingredients in products sold to the military. The DoD’s directive did not include scientific justification and did not fully consider the immediate consequences for ingredient suppliers and farmers. The House amendment would ensure that ingredient-specific policies are developed with input from the agriculture supply chain and relevant civilian food and nutrition authorities without weakening the DoD’s purchasing preferences.

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee held a mark-up on the Highway Reauthorization bill and considered several issues that impact agriculture. Prior to the mark-up, the USCA signed a letter supporting the expansion of the hours-of-service, 150 air-mile agricultural exemption in all states to year-round rather than just the planting and harvesting seasons. Currently, there are 15 states that do not define these seasons as year-round. The USCA joined an agricultural value chain group to express support for an amendment that would remove language in the House draft bill to create unnecessary additional oversight, review and requirements for current and future exemptions to the hours of service rule. Following Committee passage of the Highway Reauthorization bill, House Democrats released a larger infrastructure package that includes more than $1.5 trillion in funding for roads, bridges, transit, rail, schools, housing, broadband, drinking and wastewater systems, postal service, clean energy sector and health care facilities. House leadership plans to consider the infrastructure package on the House floor prior to the July 4th recess.

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bill introduced by Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) to establish a USDA program to certify third-party verifiers and technical service providers that help private landowners generate carbon credits through a variety of agriculture and forestry-related practices. The bill will be introduced in the House by Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Don Bacon (R-NE).

There’s still time! Farmers have until Aug. 28 to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The payments, which offset impacts from the pandemic, include specialty and non-specialty crops.


In this month’s USCA blog, Channapatna S. (“CS”) Prakash Ph.D., dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, USA and co-editor-in-chief of the journal GM Crops & Food , discuss gene editing in canola and beyond with U.S. Canola Association Director of Communication Angela Dansby. He explains what gene editing is, how it differs from genetic engineering and how it applies to canola. Prakash says that the possibilities with gene editing in canola are endless and can be used to reduced pod-shattering, improve weed control and produce different levels of fat. He notes that gene editing will impact the future of agriculture due to its knowledge-based approach and can dial desirable traits up or down as needed.

The USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service released its June 30 acreage report, revealing that planted canola acres of 1.868 million in 2020, down 172,000 acres or 9.2% from 2019. North Dakota planted 1.55 million, down 150,000 or 8.8%; Kansas and Oklahoma acreage is down 73%, with 5,000 and 12,000 acres planted respectively. Washington planted 80,000 acres, up 5,000 or 6.6%; Minnesota 71,000 acres, an increase of 20,000 acres or 39%; and Montana’s acres were steady at 150,000.


Did you know canola oil can help reduce belly fat? Research shows this oil’s high monounsaturated fat content has beneficial effects on body composition, especially in people with obesity.



Other Country News

Burcon NutraScience secured an additional $10 million in funding for its state-of-the-art plant being built in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The plant will produce pea and canola proteins and will be the only commercial facility in the world with the capability to produce food grade canola proteins. This additional funding will help Burcon support growth plans and expand capacity. The facility is set to be completed in Q4 2020.

China continues to be a major influence on the Canadian canola market, according to Farm and Ranch Guide. That’s due to the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, resultant blocks on Canadian canola seed imports and now side-tracked trade issues to deal with COVID-19. Despite these setbacks, carry-over stocks of Canadian canola have been lowered to 400,000 tons.

Latest Industry News

North Dakota State University’s (NDSU’s) Langdon Research Extension Center and the Northern Canola Growers Association will hold their annual field day online this year on July 16, starting at 9 am. It will begin with a welcome from NDSU Vice President for Agricultural Affairs Greg Lardy and then NDSU experts will address canola and small grain diseases, soybean seeding dates, salt-tolerant crops, late-season prevent plant options, suitability of soils for tilting, hard red spring wheat breeding and an integrated pest management survey in northeastern North Dakota.

The Minnesota Canola Council announced the completion of canola planting in the state despite COVID-19 obstacles and shows a 20 percent increase in acreage.  For growers to have continued success during the pandemic, the Council hosted a webinar on COVID-19 preparedness.

In celebration of National Pollinator Week, Bayer CropScience launched a Blue Ribbon Beekeeper Award to recognize students ages 12-18 who are actively working to support honeybee health in their communities. Applicants have the opportunity to win cash prizes to support their work. Applications will be judged by a group of panelists and are required to submit an application, essay questions and references.

The Pacific Northwest Canola Association hosted a canola tour in Craigmont, Idaho on June 30. It covered canola production experiences, community updates, winter canola stand establishments, fertility tips, and canola market update and strategies. Another tour will be in Bozeman, Mont. on July 7.

About the USCA

The Honey Bee Health Coalition, including the USCA, released a guide on how to celebrate and protect pollinators during Pollinator Week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities include an interactive map to find activities, resources to write to governors about protecting honeybees, and images you can download to help spread the word.


Get social with us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Want to promote your products or services to canola producers and industry members? Visit our advertising pages to find specs, deadlines and rates to advertise in this monthly e-newsletter or on