Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) aims to include $50 billion over 10 years for agriculture conservation funding in the potential federal infrastructure package. President Joe Biden’s proposal includes $1 billion for conservation and more than $110 billion for research but does not provide a specific amount for agriculture. More than 450 food and environmental groups submitted a letter requesting at least $200 billion for conservation, research, energy and regional food initiatives over the next decade. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) signed a letter led by the Supporters of Ag Research (SoAR) Foundation requesting an investment of at least $40 billion for agricultural research, infrastructure and innovation.
The U.S. House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit through 2025. It is currently set to expire at the end of 2022. The clean fuel tax credit is part of a $216 billion climate-focused package of tax incentives called the Clean Energy for America Act. Under the proposal, biofuels that are domestically produced and consumed would qualify for a credit up to $1 per gallon based on their carbon emissions. A key question and challenge are how the emission scores for various biofuels and feedstocks would be determined. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) proposes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do so while the biofuels industry supports using the Department of Energy’s Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy uses in Technologies (GREET) model.
In a victory for the biofuels industry, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down three small refinery exemptions issued by the Trump administration to Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. the day before Biden was inaugurated. Under the new administration, the EPA petitioned for a remand of the exemptions, which would have erased blending requirements for 260 million gallons of renewable fuels.
What does the Biden administration’s 30×30 plan mean for agriculture? With a national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, the plan will expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Conservation Reserve Program and invest at least $355 million in climate-smart agriculture projects.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Jewel Bronaugh as USDA Deputy Secretary. Her nomination was approved by voice vote after an easy confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. She was widely praised by bipartisan lawmakers. Bronaugh previously served as the Commissioner of Agriculture and Farm Service Agency director in Virginia.
Terry Cosby was selected to officially head the Natural Resources Conservation Service after serving as acting chief. Throughout his 42-year USDA career, Cosby has held various leadership positions in Iowa, Missouri, Idaho and Ohio.
Growing canola improves crop and soil health plus adds wealth, notes U.S. Canola Association (USCA) Past-President Rob Rynning of Kennedy, Minn., in the USCA Blog. “With canola, we found a crop that did very well in our climate and helped us fight several diseases, especially Fusarium in our small grains,” he says. “In addition to improving soil health and the crops that follow it, canola can be very lucrative.”
“Organic canola production is entirely possible and offers a niche market opportunity for U.S. growers,” says Brian Caldbeck, agricultural consultant and USCA member, in the USCA Blog. Non-biotech canola, which averages higher yields than biotech varieties in #wintercanola, also presents a business opportunity for farmers with premium prices.
Winter canola helps control weeds and works well in a wheat rotation, notes canola breeder Mike Stamm of Kansas State University. Many growers have experienced these results, according to The Hutchinson News. High canola prices add to their interest.
Canola growers, BeSure! to use best pesticide management practices to protect pollinators and other wildlife. Just follow these tips for neonicotinoid seed treatments, foliar sprays, soil drenches and granules. Check out this interactive website for additional information.
Due to cool, dry conditions in the Canadian Prairies, root rot is something to watch out for this year in the northern tier, according to agronomist Justine Cornelsen of the Canola Council of Canada. Crop rotation will help decrease pathogen levels in soils and deter root rot. In addition, farmers should watch out for flea beetles due to the same dry conditions. Cornelsen suggests timing planting with rainfall to combat these conditions.
Nutrition and Health
Consuming canola oil in place of other oils and fats can lower your cholesterol, according to MDLinx.com. This is because it’s low in saturated fat. In addition, because of canola oil’s high heat tolerance it’s great for sautéing, frying and baking!
Other Country News
Canadian farmers plan to increase canola plantings by 3.6 percent over last year to 21.5 million acres, estimates Statistics Canada. But this tally is roughly 1.1 million acres fewer than expected. MarketsFarm Editor Mike Jubinville says, “the canola supply situation for this year and next is going to remain very tight no matter the acreage number printed … a reflection of the extraordinary demand-pull nature of the oilseed market. Yield, soybean price direction and the crazy, domestic veg oil shifts associated with renewable fuel are going to be far more important in setting price trends.”
Australia’s Pacific Seeds is teaming up with CSIRO, an Australian government research agency, to create better canola hybrids that can stand up to the country’s variable growing conditions. The three-year project will hopefully expand to more canola breeding programs.
Latest Industry News
Due to a number of biofuel projects and expansions, the National Biodiesel Board may reach its target of doubling biodiesel/renewable diesel production to 22.7 billion liters by 2030 in 2023. Canola oil has accounted for approximately 10 percent of biofuel production over the past decade and that share is expected to increase in the next five years.
Viterra will build the world’s largest canola-crushing plant in Regina, Saskatchewan with an annual crush capacity of up to 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) in late 2024. Additionally, Cargill plans to build a canola processing facility in Regina with an annual capacity of 1 MMT and Richardson International will double its canola crushing capacity in Yorkton, Sask. to 2.2 MMT annually. Moreover, Ceres Global Ag Corp. plans to build a canola crushing facility next to its grain elevator in Northgate, Sask. Reflecting high demand, Canadian canola stocks are expected to hit an eight-year low in 2020-21.
Due to projected poor growing conditions in Canada, canola prices are at an all-time high. Despite being the world’s top producer of canola, Canada has actually imported the crop from Ukraine to keep up with demand. This is largely caused by China purchasing a large amount of canola from Canada this year, driving down supply.
About the USCA
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