Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

After the botched confirmation of Andrew Puzder to labor secretary, candidates for other top jobs in the Trump administration are feeling nervous about their possible posts. That includes Trump’s pick for agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue. According to sources close to him, as quoted in Politico, the former Georgia governor is concerned about the lack of contact with White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus as well as the potential for critics to dig up dirt as a nomination lingers.


Canola agronomic research projects funded by the Supplemental and Alternative Crops Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture were summarized on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C. Presentations will soon be posted at

The farming trend in California is typically to grow warm season crops between March and October. But a team of agronomists and scientists at the University of California (UC) at Davis have been investigating growing cool season crops—grown from October to June—in the same locations. What they found over a period of three growing seasons is that “canola achieved high yields and seed oil content,” according to UC Davis Extension Agronomist Stephen Kaffka. “Using short to mid-season varieties, grown in winter, could help canola become an economically viable crop in California,” he said.


Next time you head to the grocery store, pack this list of heart-healthy items, including beet greens, apples, garlic, and of course, canola oil. That’s because canola oil has less saturated fat than any of the other oil types, while being higher in the omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid.

Looking for a healthy snack you can make at home? Give kale chips a try. Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals. And when you prepare kale chips with canola oil, you add healthy unsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol. For recipes, check out Foods 4 Better Health.

Other Country News

Measures to protect bees from pesticide residues in dust from corn, soybean and canola planting appear to be working in Canada. The number of bee deaths have continued to stay well below the high levels of 2012 and 2013, and the number of bee deaths linked to sprayed pesticides also dropped last year, according to Health Canada.

Canada’s agriculture minister says the country is ready to export more food to China, including beef and blueberries. But canola remains Canada’s top agricultural export to China, with 2015 figures at $2 billion CDN worth of exports, the Global Times reported. Just last fall, during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Ottawa, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding that extends exports of canola to year 2020 and provides an approach for producers to address concerns around dockage.

Blackleg is an increasing concern in Alberta, which was in 90 percent of fields investigated in a 2016 survey, according to Mike Harding, research scientist in plant pathology with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, in the Alberta Farmer Express. “If we looked harder, we probably could have found it in just about all of them,” he noted.

Latest Industry News

The Minnesota Canola Council’s 2017 Canola School “Go for the Gold: Add Canola to Your Team, Reduce Risks in a Competitive Environment” is scheduled for March 6 in St. Hilaire, Minn. The free event begins at 1 p.m. and includes talks on row spacing, disease management and direct harvesting canola. For more information, contact Beth Nelson at 651-638-9883 or visit

About the USCA

Visit the USCA website to read our latest blog—”Trump Appointees and Initiatives Debated ‘Ag’ Nauseam”—authored by Tom Hance, a policy expert at Gordley Associates in Washington, D.C. He discusses Trump’s cabinet, including the secretary of agriculture vacancy, as well as budget proposals that could affect farm and agricultural operations.

Last night, the USCA hosted its 13th annual “Canola on Capitol Hill” reception in Washington, D.C., as part of its annual membership and board of directors meeting that ends today. About 300 Congressional staff involved with agriculture attended.

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