Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
President Trump’s FY 2018 budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” proposes $3.6 trillion in cuts over 10 years, including $228 billion in reductions to farm bill programs, noted policy experts in the June USCA blog. This is in addition to the 21 percent cut to annual discretionary expenditures in the President’s “skinny budget” released in March. Major cuts are for federal crop insurance ($29.2 billion), Title I commodity supports, and market access and conservation programs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon be embarking on an effort to change public opinion regarding genetically modified (“biotech”) foods, Modern Farmer reported. As part of a bipartisan agreement to avoid a government shutdown, the FDA has been allocated $3 million to fund a pro-biotech campaign. The initiative comes in the wake of a Pew study which found that 39 percent of respondents believe biotech foods are less healthy than non-biotech foods, despite consensus from scientific authorities otherwise.
The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) is continuing to build consensus on 2018 Farm Bill issues presented in the testimony by USCA President Rob Rynning before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management in April. The USCA recently met with staff for the House and Senate agriculture committees to discuss how they can best interface with them as they develop a new farm bill as well as to determine their timetables for additional hearings or listening sessions and drafting legislation. It’s unlikely more funding will be provided by Congress to write the farm bill, even though staff are making the case to the budget committees that the 2014 Farm Bill cost $88 billion less than the original estimate.
Two dozen Honey Bee Health Coalition members sent a letter to D.C. policymakers working on the next farm bill, urging them to consider priorities that would help “ensure that honey bees can continue to support U.S. agriculture.” Those priorities include an increase in acreage of USDA conservation program lands; improvements to pollinator-specific programs; and flexibility for landowners and producers to take management actions that would benefit honey bees and other pollinators.
Farmers looking to improve their wheat crops may also want to consider growing canola, according to Washington State University’s oilseed specialists. That’s because some wheat growers have found yield increases of 5 to 25 percent after including canola in crop rotation. “It’s helpful with weed control, it’s helpful with breaking disease and pest cycles,” Karen Sowers, oilseed specialist at Washington State University, told Capital Press.
As temperatures begin to rise in the spring and summer, canola growers may also begin to worry about condensation in grain bins that can lead to spoilage. But attempting to prevent that by turning inventory or aerating it isn’t the right solution, reported The Western Producer. It’s actually better to leave canola alone as temperatures start to creep up, according to PAMI, a research organization that tests farm equipment. Its recommendation? Simply monitor the grain bins. “You can minimize the risk [of spoilage] but you can never eliminate all risk, so just keep an eye on it,” said Joy Agnew of PAMI.
Looking to reduce belly fat? A May article listed 15 foods to include in your diet if you’re hoping to find six-pack abs and canola oil was number eight. That’s because the monounsaturated fat in canola oil can help decrease abdominal fat, according to Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Penn State University. In fact, in a study led by her, participants who were given canola oil daily for four weeks had a quarter pound less belly fat.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia-Okanagan found that the consumption of too much polyunsaturated fat and not enough monounsaturated fat is linked to a more sedentary lifestyle and the development of diabetes risk factors. To combat this, one of the research authors suggests using monounsaturated fat-rich canola oil—rather than corn, sunflower or soybean oil—for cooking. “If someone is beginning an exercise program without taking a close look at the fats they’re consuming or changing what they’re eating, then they might be doomed to failure,” Sanjoy Ghosh, professor and researcher at UBC-Okanagan, told Reader’s Digest.
Other Country News
China’s canola demand is expected to rise by 1 million tons in 2017-18 as two soybean crush facilities are converted into canola processing plants. A third plant has not yet received approval, but if it does get the green light from the Chinese government, demand will increase beyond the total estimated 5 million tons next year. And if it proves profitable, look for more switch plants to begin focusing on canola in the future, Jarrett Beatty, trading manager with Parrish and Heimbecker, told The Western Producer.
Canola farmers in Manitoba are now producing gourmet canola oils with unique characteristics based on their seeds’ “terroir,” much like wine or coffee. Terroir refers to the way that geography, geology and climate interact with plant genetics to create, for example, a distinct taste and color in an oil. Depending on where the seeds are grown, the Manitoba Canola Growers Association found that resulting oils could be bright yellow with a nutty aroma or more orange with grassy notes. What isn’t known though is for the price premium these oils will command, although current estimates price them 20 times than regular canola oil.
Latest Industry News
About 2 million acres in Western Canada are sitting with overwintered crops, and while not all of it is canola, enough is such that the 2016 production number will likely go down. Meanwhile, demand for canola remains very strong, with prices likely to have more potential upside. To date, Canadian canola exports are about 700,000 tons ahead of this time last year, while the domestic crush is approximately 900,000 tons ahead, according to Canadian Grain Commission data and Canadian Oilseed Processors Association data, respectively.
About the USCA
Visit the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) website to read our latest blog—President Proposes, Congress Disposes: But What Exactly is in That Budget?—written by Dale Thorenson, policy expert with Gordley Associates in Washington, D.C. He breaks down the cuts in President Trump’s proposed budget that negatively impact canola interests, but also highlights the budget’s focus on infrastructure investments and a reduction of burdensome regulations and permitting processes that could benefit U.S. agriculture.
USCA President Rob Rynning appointed Past-President Jeff Scott to chair a USCA Farm Bill Task Force, a new decision-making body for the association regarding policy positions during the 2018 Farm Bill deliberations. Rynning, who will serve as an ex-officio member, also appointed 1st Vice President Pat Murphy, 2nd Vice President Andrew Moore and regional canola association heads Beth Nelson, Barry Coleman and Ron Sholar to serve on the task force.
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