Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

On May 24, after more than 12 hours of debate, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (H.R. 8467), a.k.a. farm bill, with a 33-21 vote. All 29 Republican members of the committee and four Democrats voted for it. Partisanship played into debates over spending priorities and the Nutrition Title. The draft bill includes an increase in reference prices (canola from $20.15/cwt to $23.75), chance to add base acres and crop insurance incentives. It also increases the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) guarantee to 90 percent of the benchmark revenue (currently 86 percent) and the maximum ARC payment to 12.5 percent of the ARC revenue (currently 10 percent). Democratic amendments pertaining to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and climate-smart agriculture conservation funding were defeated. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) and other farm groups applauded the House’s draft farm bill, writing to Thompson that numerous provisions “are responsive to the needs and requests” presented to him and his staff over the past 17 months. Read more about the bill’s attributes in a USCA Blog post by Executive Director Tom Hance.

A farm bill amendment of interest to winter canola was offered but withdrawn from Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) to make winter wheat eligible and counted as a “cover crop” for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service programs. The existing cover crops definition and eligibility excludes harvested crops. House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn Thompson indicated a willingness to work with Rep. Davids on this issue. The USCA will do so as well.

It is unclear when or if the farm bill will be considered on the House floor. Chair Thompson indicated it would be September at the earliest. Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) is expected to release his farm bill proposal in early June. This will hopefully lead to negotiations with Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on a version that can achieve the bipartisan support needed to clear the Senate.

The USCA was among 32 agricultural groups that submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to add Drift Reduction Adjuvants (DRAs) to the list of mitigation options available to pesticide users for Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance. The letter noted that the EPA is moving quickly to implement ESA-related proposals and pesticide users need as many effective, practicable and affordable options as possible to meet ESA obligations. “We strongly urge EPA to add to the approved mitigation list DRAs and other adjuvants that can be effective in reducing off-target pesticide movement while providing pesticide users a practical compliance option,” the groups wrote.

The EPA held an ESA-FIFRA Mitigation Workshop on May 9, which included several presentations on how the proposed mitigations would impact growers in different regions. The agency indicated it “heard a strong interest in incorporating existing state, local, and other voluntary conservation programs into the final Herbicide Strategy Framework for runoff and erosion mitigation.” The EPA also recognized the need for stakeholder support – including education and training, financial, and technical assistance to effectively implement the proposed mitigation strategies – and to simplify the implementation process for growers. The final Herbicide Strategy Framework will be released by Aug. 30. It will help inform a draft insecticide strategy that will be issued for public comment by July 30.

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14081, “Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy,” the USDA, EPA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a plan to update, streamline and clarify their regulations and oversight mechanisms for products of biotechnology. The plan helps meet the president’s goals of ensuring public confidence in the biotech regulatory system and improving its transparency, predictability, coordination and efficiency. It incorporates processes and timelines to implement regulatory reform and to identify the potential need for new guidance. Biotech product regulation pertains to modified plants, animals and micro-organisms; human drugs, biologics and medical devices; and cross-cutting issues. The Executive Order directs the USDA, EPA and FDA to improve how they implement The Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology updated in May 2024. The agencies, in consultation with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, solicited and received 88 public comments on how to improve the framework, including a sign-on letter from 6,000+ members from biotech stakeholders.


The annual BeSure! campaign reminds growers of proper stewardship practices during planting season to help protect pollinators. Resources are available from the Growing Matters coalition, American Seed Trade Association and CropLife America.


Canola oil bottlesLead Stories busted a social media myth that canola oil was first developed as an engine lubricant during World War II. This was impossible as canola was not even developed until the 1970s. It was bred from rapeseed with a very different nutritional profile. Industrial rapeseed oil, however, was used during the war as a mechanical lubricant.

Yahoo! busted several myths about canola oil related to health, processing and genetic modification, ascertaining that it is an excellent, versatile choice in the kitchen. (However, it misidentified the smoke point of canola oil at 400° F, which is actually 468° F – one of the highest of all cooking oils.)

Other Countries

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued on May 3 a new guidance on livestock feed, paving the way for a regulatory pathway for gene-edited products in Canada. “[This] guidance is an important milestone in unlocking the next generation potential for innovation and growth in the Canadian canola industry,” says Chris Davison, president and CEO of the Canola Council of Canada. “As Canada continues its work to feed and fuel the world, plant breeding innovation will play an increasingly important role in developing even more productive and resilient canola crops.”

Latest from Industry

“A rush by U.S. fuel makers to recalibrate their plants to produce renewable diesel has created a supply glut for low-emissions biofuels, hammering profit margins for refiners and threatening to impede a young industry,” reported Reuters. Oversupply could impede future biofuel investments and prompt production facilities to close. U.S. renewable diesel production capacity nearly quadrupled after the COVID-19 pandemic from 791 million gallons in 2021 to 3 billion by 2023 as refiners sought to move away from petroleum-based products.

In Red River Farm Network’s (RRFN’s) May 24thCanola Minute,” Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) Executive Director Barry Coleman noted that it’s flea beetle season for canola with the hot and dry conditions of summer. He advises growers to scout for the insects 2-3 times per week in their fields and to use an insecticide spray if foliar damage exceeds 25 percent. Essentially any pyrethroid insecticide will do based on NCGA trials.

In the May 13th RRFN “Canola Minute,” NCGA Director of Communications Lindy Coutts noted that canola oil-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) was approved for a $1.25 per gallon tax credit since it meets the minimum 50 percent greenhouse gas reduction requirement. Canola SAF may receive an even higher tax credit in the future based on updated modeling data.

Videos remain available from the “Getting it Right in Canola Production” virtual meeting on March 12 hosted by North Dakota State University Extension and supported by the NCGA. Topics include cultivar selection, seeding rate, plant establishment and intercropping, fertilizer recommendations, and disease, insect and weed management.

The Minnesota Canola Council will host its 2024 Canola Field Day and Hackers Golf Scramble Wed., July 17 at Roseau Oakcrest Golf Club.

About the USCA

The autumn USCA board meeting will be in San Diego, Calif., Mon.-Wed., Nov. 11-13.

Want to see exactly where spring and winter canola is growing in the United States? The USCA has a canola acreage map by county on its website.

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