On March 1, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review the performance of 2018 Farm Bill Title I programs. Clarke Coleman, a producer from Bismarck, N.D., testified on behalf of canola, barley, sunflower and pulse crops. He emphasized the importance of Title I and crop insurance programs as the backbone of farm operations. The options and flexibility provided under the 2018 Farm Bill has allowed producers to choose between programs on a farm-by-farm and crop-by-crop basis. Coleman noted that while the reference prices established in the 2018 Farm Bill reflected the market the first few years, they may need to change as farmers face a surge in the prices of fertilizer and other inputs. He also stressed the need to maintain the policy of decoupling to provide planting flexibility by tying income or revenue protection to recent historical base acres rather than current year crop plantings. This has allowed farmers to respond to market signals rather than the prospect of receiving government payments. This hearing was a first step in the long process of developing the next farm bill, which expires in 2023.
The deadline to sign up for Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2022 is March 15. Producers are eligible to enroll farms with base acres for various commodities and can use two tools, the Gardner-Farmdoc Payment Calculator or ARC and PLC Decision Tool, to make informed decisions. Learn more in this month’s USCA blog.
Canola researchers are working diligently to discover a field-scale, 100-bushel yield in a project called Canola 100. They have reached that point twice and aim to continue to do so. Canola 100 lead agronomist Troy LaForge says that “each time Canola 100 adds an extra bushel or two, it’s because [growers] have fine-tuned their agronomic plan, not added nitrogen.” LaForge and his team aim to understand the science and then “work backwards to figure out the economics.”
Kansas State University canola breeder Mike Stamm says that evaluating and breeding winter canola has aided improvements in the crop’s ability to survive the winter. To determine the best winter survivability, the “growing point should be close to the soil surface because that is where it is the most protected.”
Which oil is best for frying? Because of canola oil’s high smoke point (heat tolerance), neutral flavor and affordability, reports INSIDER.com, it’s great for many types of frying and foods.
In honor of Canada’s Agriculture Day on Feb 22., Canadian citizens were encouraged to “raise a fork” and share photos of national foods and ingredients with the hashtag #CdnAgDay. Economic Development and Tourism Director Sean McRitchie says that “as a country, we are always looking to help farmers connect with innovation, and to help remove barriers.”
Tasmanian canola is growing fast due to new growers entering the market as prices have risen to more than $800 per ton. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics predicted Tasmania’s canola crops to reach 2,500-3,000 tons this growing season, however, it has more than doubled to 8,000. The price is being driven by a supply shortage due to Canada’s drought and increased demand for vegetable oil.
Canada’s canola industry and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are funding AgriScience Cluster programs in support of canola research. They are requesting letters of intent focusing on “robust research programs that align with priorities set out in the Next Agricultural Policy Framework.” Letters are due March 7 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addressing multiple industry-wide priorities, the AgriScience Cluster has been critical to helping the canola sector contribute almost $30 billion annually to the Canadian economy.
How will the war in Ukraine affect canola? Ukraine is the third largest producer of canola/rapeseed in the world, accounting for 24 percent of all canola exports and 20 percent of production. With Ukraine’s agricultural sector disrupted and supplies limited, canola prices are expected to rise globally.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) announced on Feb. 28 a definitive agreement under which Chevron will acquire the outstanding shares of REG in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.15 billion. It will combine REG’s renewable fuel production and feedstock capabilities with Chevron’s large manufacturing, distribution and commercial marketing. The transaction is expected to accelerate Chevron’s goal of increasing renewable fuel production capacity to 100,000 barrels per day by 2030. On Feb. 22, Bunge Ltd. also signed a definitive agreement with Chevron Corp. to create a 50/50 joint venture to help meet demand for renewable fuels and develop lower carbon intensity feedstocks. It aims to establish a reliable supply chain from farmer to fueling station for both companies.
ExxonMobil is investing $125 million in Global Clean Energy to advance its renewable diesel production, with an option to acquire up to a 25 percent equity stake in the company. Global Clean Energy is a leading producer of camelina, a non-food oilseed crop. The investment will help the company accelerate its expansion from the United States into Europe and South America.
NEXT Renewable Fuels will construct a renewable diesel plant in Port Westward Industrial Park, Ore., with an initial capacity of more than 37,500 barrels a day before full capacity is reached at 50,000. The company is targeting late 2024 for operational startup. The renewable diesel is a second-generation advanced biofuel made from 100 percent renewable feedstocks including used cooking oil, animal tallows and selected virgin seed and vegetable oils.
The price for canola crop insurance will be announced in early March and expected to show record projected prices for canola. Insurance, which is predicted to surpass last spring’s price of $20.60 per acre, will be the costliest since 2008. This spike is likely due to limited supplies.
The U.S. Canola Association will hold its annual spring board and membership meeting online Monday, March 7, from 11 am to 2:15 pm Eastern Time.
The USCA welcomes new industry board member Ceres Global Ag of Golden Valley, Minn. The company plans to build a new canola crush facility at its existing site in Northgate, Saskatoon, Canada from this spring to 2024. Ceres intends to provide low-carbon intensity feedstocks to the expanding biofuels market and high-quality feed products to livestock producers.
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