Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history may be over, but the ripple effects continue. U.S. Canola Association (USCA) Assistant Director Dale Thorenson outlines how the shutdown impacted both the agricultural sector and Capitol Hill at large. Read his post “Shut Down Government Foolishness” on the USCA blog.

Still confused on the ins and outs of the 2018 Farm Bill? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) held a listening session on the implementation of the bill this month, which is available to watch on YouTube. The USDA also accepted comments on the bill throughout February.


Bees love canola and canola loves bees. That’s why the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) – in partnership with the Honey Bee Health Coalition – created “Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Pollinator Health in Canola Fields.” “Canola flowers produce high amounts of nectar and pollen, offering a good sugar profile for honey production and a nutritional balance of proteins and fats,” said USCA President Rob Rynning in a Feb. 28 news release. “Canola flowers also allow bees to feed efficiently within reasonable distances for up to a month.”

America is at record-high levels of canola production, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. It released 2018 numbers in January, showing 3.6 billion pounds along with a record national average yield of 1,861 pounds per acre. However, the harvested acreage is slightly down from last year’s record 2 million acres.Photo by Karen Sowers

Blackleg has been a pain for canola producers for some time, but now experts are confident on how to get a “leg” up on it. According to the Western Producer, it is best for canola farmers to interrupt the lifecycle of the disease with crop rotation. Researchers have identified “race-specific resistance, which farmers can employ to fight the particular strains in their fields, identified by lab tests, and then managed inside a resistance rotation system,” the article stated. By using this new tactic, producers can identify which canola varieties have the appropriate blackleg resistance.


Canola oil is Harvard approved! The university’s Harvard Heart Letter outlined the different types of healthy cooking oils and highlighted canola oil as “rich in unsaturated fats, the more healthful type of fat.” The article also noted that canola oil is a better option if you want a more neutral taste.

Could canola meal for humans be coming soon? Possibly, thanks to researchers at the Technical University of Munich. The team has found the source of the meal’s trademark bitter taste for humans and hope to make “breeding advances” that would make it more palatable, according to Queensland Country Life. “Since we now know the cause of the bitter off-taste, it is much easier to develop suitable technological processes or breeding strategies that can be used to produce tasty, protein-rich foods from rapeseed,” said co-researcher Corinna Dawid.

Other Country News

Proving the old adage ‘the personal is political’ to be accurate, China appears to be icing out Canadian canola imports. Since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, there are reports of China slowing down canola imports in ports and through customs. The Financial Post reported a shipment that arrived in mid-January still hasn’t been cleared as one example. “There’s no doubt that they are retaliating specifically against canola seed itself,” a Canadian exporter said.

After a decade of battling clubroot in the Canadian prairies, Edmonton canola producers are still continually battling the disease every season. According to the Edmonton Journal, clubroot has spread an average of 30 kilometres per year since it first appeared in 2003. “In the general Edmonton area, most people are farming with clubroot, so they know they have it [and] they’re doing whatever they can to reduce the impact,” said Dan Orchard, an agronomist and clubroot expert.

Latest Industry News

After a half-year on the market, Corteva Agriscience bought BASF’s herbicide-tolerant, non-GMO Clearfield canola business in Canada. Corteva will now be able to license the Clearfield brand outside of the U.S. and Canada, giving them access to imazamox/imazapyr herbicides, reported CountryGuide. “This bolt-on acquisition strengthens Corteva Agriscience’s already established position in Clearfield canola seeds and traits and positions us well to deliver a holistic trait and herbicide solution to growers,” said Rajan Gajaria, Corteva’s executive vice-president of business platforms.

The next glyphosate trial started on Feb. 25 in federal court in San Francisco. To help ensure a balanced and fact-based public discussion about it, here are helpful websites launched by Bayer CropScience: and Also see a summary of glyphosate safety and infographics on Why IARC’s Opinion on Glyphosate is an Outlier, MYTH-FACT: Glyphosate and Glyphosate-Based Products and The Facts on Glyphosate and Food.

In 2014, the Canola Council of Canada outlined some ambitious goals for speciality canola oil — 33 percent of canola acreage by 2025 — but the industry appears to be getting close to that goal, reported Western Producer. Cargill launched Latitude canola oil that is set to compete with fish oil in the aquaculture market, pending regulatory approval. “Using plant-based omega-3s in aquafeed, instead of relying on fish oil from over-farmed oceans … Latitude will help relieve some of the pressure on wild caught fish, while delivering a reliable omega-3 product to aquafeed manufacturers,” said Willie Loh, vice-president of market development for Cargill’s global edible oils business in North America. Both Nuseed and Dow AgroSciences are also developing specialty canola oils focused on omega-3 enhancement.Photo by Karen Sowers

For the past six years, canola production has been limited to 500 acres because of legislation. The law is set to expire in July 2019 and the Oregon Department of Agriculture is slated to submit new rules for canola after finding the crop “didn’t pose greater risks than related species grown for specialty seed,” reported the Capital Press. However, state lawmakers are already eyeing extending the 500-acre limit indefinitely. “Over the past decade, roughly $1 million has been spent on two studies that confirmed canola doesn’t pose an elevated threat,” said Kathy Hadley, a canola farmer.

About the USCA

The USCA joined the Coalition for Accurate Product Labels to ensure that labels pertaining to the agricultural sector are science-based, meaningful and not misleading. The association also continues to be a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition for which it has put together “Best Management Practices for Pollinator Health in Canola Fields.”

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