Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) opened applications for the Supplemental and Alternative Crops Competitive Grants program in April. It will offer about $1 million in grants for research on “breeding, testing, and development of superior performing canola and industrial hemp varieties and production practices that result in improved cost efficiencies, reduced grower risks, and wider use in production systems.” The deadline to submit proposals is May 31.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards that identify and regulate high-risk facilities possessing hazardous chemicals. The standards prevent terrorist use of these chemicals through the regulation, inspection and enforcement of chemical infrastructure security requirements. They apply to pesticide manufacturers, agricultural retailers and food processing plants, requiring the assessment of security vulnerabilities and implementation of security plans. The DHS offers a Help Desk to chemical facility owners and operators (866-323-2957; csat@hq.dhs.gov) and a Tip Line for anonymous chemical facility security reporting (877-394-4347; 1-877-FYI-4DHS).

Biodiesel industry stakeholders are still hard at work to renew the biodiesel tax credit, which has been in limbo since the end of 2017. A group of more than 70 stakeholders submitted a letter to Congress urging the extension of the $1 per gallon tax credit and outlining the harm that failing to extend it has caused, Progressive Farmer reports. “The future of the credit has been unclear for more than 14 months,” the letter states. “That uncertainty is curtailing investments in new plants and capital projects to upgrade existing plants. It is beginning to force some producers, blenders and distributors to cut back purchases of raw materials and deliveries of renewable fuel to consumers, which will have impacts across the economy.”

The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) is also pushing for Congress to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit. Tom Hance of Gordley Associates tells more in the current USCA blog.

Agronomy

Battling blackleg? Clubroot got you down? We’re here to help this month. First, the Manitoba Co-operator shares a video from the Canola Council of Canada on three things you can do to prevent the growth and spread of blackleg. If clubroot is hurting your canola production, Dr. Luis del Rio Mendoza, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, provides a handy FAQ on the USCA blog about the disease and how to best handle it.

Canola is looking more sunny yellow in the United States as yield and production increased in 2018, according to government statistics. Yield per acre averaged 1,861 pounds and production was more than 3.6 billion pounds. Area planted and harvested continued to hover around 2 million acres.

The USCA, as a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, issued “Best Management Practices for Pollinator Health in Canola Fields” and a related news release, slide deck, infographics and posters. The High Plains Journal covered these practices and spoke with USCA President Rob Rynning about why pollinators are so important to canola production. “Beekeepers say that domestic hives do very well on canola pollen and nectar because of the nutrient density,” the article notes. “Hives can expand and reproduce very rapidly on canola over other crops, like almonds for example that have very little nutrient value in the nectar.”
Photo by Karen Sowers

Nutrition

The countdown is on: The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans development process is underway, with public comments currently being solicited. While there is not a date to unveil the new guidelines, norm-bucking changes will be recommendations for kids from birth to age 2 and on seafood consumption, WTOP reports.

Ten canola oil-based recipes from CanolaInfo were Heart-Check certified by the American Heart Association. This means that they meet nutritional requirements for heart health, including low saturated fat content. Several of these recipes are perfect for summer, such as Cucumber and Black Bean Salsa Salad, Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil, and Three Citrus Mint Dressing on Seasonal Fresh Fruits.

Other Country News

Canada’s and China’s diplomatic standoff continues. When Canada detained a Chinese national who is CFO of Huawei Technologies, authorities in Beijing halted canola imports citing pests without proof. The Canadian canola industry is bracing itself for the worst, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau using “diplomatic channels” to try and mend fences before canola farmers are impacted by the freeze, Bloomberg reports. However, there isn’t cause for panic just yet. The Western Producer reports that Canadian canola exports are still going to China like nothing is happening. “We continue to have sales executed and there continues to be strong demand for both oil and meal,” says Brian Innes, vice president of public affairs at the Canola Council of Canada.

Despite the mixed messages, Canadian officials are still pushing for a faster resolution to the feud. Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan’s trade minister, has been urging his federal counterpart to find a resolution with China as soon as possible, the Regina Leader-Post reports. “We need to have this resolved, and this is the responsibility of the Government of Canada to defend our interests,” he says.

Meanwhile in China, canola stakeholders are drafting their own plans for Chinese canola. Sichuan, the top-producing canola/rapeseed province, is planning to ramp up canola production in order to create its own brand of cooking oil to be used specifically with the region’s spicy food, the South China Morning Post reports. “Not only will the government-sponsored plan help lift farmers out of poverty, it will also boost incomes generally as fields of the vivid yellow crop in bloom are a potential tourist draw,” says Wang Hailin, deputy head of the Sichuan Food and Strategic Reserves Bureau.

Latest Industry News

It looks likely that canola production in Oregon will stay limited. State senators passed a bill in April that will continue the 500-acre limit instated in 2013. It’s a move at odds with what growers in the region want, who have requested to grow more than 1,600 acres of the crop this year, the Capital Press reports. “The Legislature should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in agriculture,” notes Marie Bowers, a Willamette Valley farmer.

Cibus, the maker of a non-biotech, ultra high-oleic canola oil trait, announced it has licensed this trait to Valley Oils Partners to develop a new canola variety. “The oil produced from the ultra-high oleic canola is unique and has exceptional properties, making it desirable for use in a wide range of applications, including food production, animal feed, restaurant food frying and as a biorenewable, biodegradable hydraulic oil for trucks and machinery,” notes Allan Yeap, president of Valley Oils Partners.

About the USCA

Happy 30th Birthday to the U.S. Canola Association! You’ve come a long way, baby. In 1989, canola was just starting to be planted in the United states and today, there are about 2 million acres of it. Canola oil is the number 2 oil consumed domestically and demand continues to grow. Check out our Articles of Incorporation and Backgrounder to stroll down memory lane.

Get social with us: The USCA is now on Instagram and LinkedIn! Follow our updates there as well as on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Want to promote your products or services to canola producers and industry members? Visit the USCA advertising sections online to find specs, deadlines and rates to advertise in this monthly e-newsletter or on UScanola.com.