Canola Quick Bytes
A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest
The House and Senate Agriculture Committees, along with help from commodity and crop insurance industry groups, secured an agreement from Congressional leadership to reverse the $3 billion crop insurance cut contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act. The budget deal, passed by Congress Oct. 30, imposes an 8.9 percent cap on the rate of return for crop insurance companies (from the current 14 percent). While not a direct cut to producers, if left in place, this reduction would have undermined the crop insurance delivery system over time because more companies would choose to divest their crop insurance business due to unprofitability. Congressional leadership agreed to allow language reversing the cut to be included in the FY 2016 Omnibus that must be passed by Dec. 11, however the budget deal will still result in cuts to ARC and PLC program payments provided by the 2014 Farm Bill. For a detailed explanation of events, see the USCA blog.
On Oct. 22, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up its draft of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, better known as the Highway Bill, which is expected to reach the House floor for a vote the week of Nov. 2. The bill is a multi-year reauthorization of highway transportation programs, which would provide certainty for state and local governments to maintain and move forward with transportation projects. It also streamlines the environmental review and permitting processes. The Highway Bill would establish a National Highway Freight Policy, Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program and National Multi-modal Freight Network, which are aimed at improving freight movement and strengthening U.S. economic competitiveness. Votes are expected on several amendments impacting agriculture and supported by the USCA, including one to allow states to increase truck weight limits on federal interstates from the existing 80,000 pound limit to 91,000 pounds with the addition of a sixth axle. Another amendment would establish a Short Haul Graduated Drive Pilot Program, which would reduce the age requirement from 21 to 18 to obtain a commercial driver’s license for short haul transportation.
Separately, the President will sign into law a measure that includes a three-year extension of the Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation deadline. The PTC implementation deadline can also be extended an additional two years if certain benchmarks are met by the railroad companies. Companies had warned of potential service disruptions, suggesting they would cease any grain shipments and possibly all train movements, if the Dec. 31 statutory deadline for implementing PTC was not extended. Positive train control is a GPS-based train electronic system designed to prevent collisions and over-speed derailments. The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandated that railroads implement PTC systems by Jan. 1, 2016 on lines that carry “toxic by inhalation” materials, including anhydrous ammonia and chlorine, lines carrying 5 million or more gross tons every year or any lines with “regularly scheduled intercity passenger or commuter rail services.”
On Oct. 5, trade ministers from 12 participating nations announced the conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is good news for canola farmers. The TPP eliminates over 18,000 taxes in the form of tariffs that various countries have levied on products made in America. Reduced tariffs in Japan and Vietnam over the next five years would allow for up to $780 million annually in canola oil and meal exports (primarily from Canada). Key tax cuts in the agreement are intended to help American farmers and ranchers expand their exports, which provide roughly 20 percent of all U.S. farm income. Additionally, the TPP will help American farmers and ranchers compete by tackling a range of barriers they face abroad, including ensuring that foreign regulations and agricultural inspections are based on science, eliminating agricultural export subsidies and minimizing unpredictable export bans. The agreement still needs to be ratified by each of the governments of the 12 member countries before it is implemented.
Environmental and sustainability issues will not be addressed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted its recommendations in February and suggested for the first time that food system sustainability be included in the government’s dietary advice. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell published a co-authored blog post on Oct. 6 stating that while issues of the environment and sustainability are critically important, sustainability is not within the scope of the 2015 guidelines. The final guidelines, which are still being drafted, will focus on nutrition and dietary recommendations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) declared 170,000 more harvested canola acres in North Dakota in its October crop production report than originally listed as planted in its June planting report. Yields were 79 pounds per acre higher than last year in North Dakota, 100 pounds higher in Minnesota, 320 pounds higher in Montana, 880 pounds higher in Oklahoma and similar in Colorado and Kansas. The Pacific Northwest’s yields were lower. NASS estimates that 2015 U.S. canola production will be 123 percent of 2014 production, with harvested acres and yield both at 111 percent of 2014 levels.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture awarded the Minnesota Canola Council with funding for a research project to improve canola yield and quality through disease management best practices. A canola disease nursery, established with the funds by Dr. Madeleine Smith at the University of Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center, is examining the best methods to control white mold and blackleg in the canola cropping system. The nursery uses mist irrigation to provide the ideal conditions for disease development once the plots have been inoculated. Results from the nursery will help determine best practices for growers and provide a long-term benchmark to study the biology and epidemiology of these diseases.
Keep canola from deteriorating in the bin as winter approaches by storing it at or below 8 percent moisture content and cooler than 15°C, according to the Oct. 7 Fairview Post. When outside air temperatures cool, canola can respire for up to six weeks after being stored. Respiring canola generates additional heat and moisture, so even if it is initially binned dry, it should be closely monitored. The heat and moisture caused by respiring canola can result in hot spots or mold. The grain near the bin’s outside edges cools first when outside air cools; the cool air then moves down the bin edge and then up through the central core. Fans should be used to cool the canola at the top of the bin to the average daily temperature.
Butter is still the bad guy, but be careful what you eat instead, reported MSN.com on Sept. 29. Results from a 30-year study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology show that when consumers remove saturated fat from their diets and replace it with healthier fats – such as canola oil – they reduce risk of heart disease. Conversely, when saturated fat is replaced with low-quality carbohydrates, there is no benefit. “Our findings suggest that when patients are making lifestyle changes to their diets, cardiologists should encourage the consumption of unsaturated fats like vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds as well as healthy carbohydrates,” a study author said.
Cooking with canola oil may be a strategy for reducing risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Bergen, Norway, found that individuals who consume the most foods containing plant-based polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in canola oil, had the lowest MS risk. Lead researcher Dr. Kjetil Bjørnevik said that because this is the first study finding this association, it must be interpreted with caution and the research replicated. Scientists expressed surprise they found no significant association between consuming polyunsaturated fats from fish and reduced MS risk.
A recipe for roasted cauliflower from chef and author Suvir Saran recommended using canola oil when roasting because “it is able to withstand the intense heat of the oven or grill with its high smoke point.” The article, sponsored by the Northern Canola Growers Association, also noted “canola oil is low in saturated fat, high in omega-3 fats and has no trans fats, making it an excellent partner for all kinds of cooking and baking.”
Add a little Latin flair to your next meal with recipes for “super sides” from Manuel Villacorta, an award-winning registered dietitian and CanolaInfo spokesperson. His green bean saltado and roasted winter veggies and tri-colored potatoes incorporate Latin favorites, such as chili peppers and cilantro. “The dishes have all the Latin flavors I love plus an extra measure of nutrition, thanks to canola oil, which has a neutral taste to let other ingredients shine, and also contains the least saturated fat of all common vegetable oils,” he noted.
Other Country News
Bayer CropScience’s expanded processing plant opened Oct. 1 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The plant features significant upgrades to the 43,000-square-foot building and seed cleaning facilities, including an additional five acres of storage bins and conveyances. The $15.6 million CDN expansion has increased processing capacity to 30,000 tonnes per year, making this facility Bayer’s largest dedicated canola seed processing and storage facility in the world.
A canola feed trial on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, produced the “best ever” canola crops for this time of year. Grower Alan Mill planted 1,330 hectares—33 percent canola, 33 percent wheat and 33 percent broad beans—alongside 800 to 1,000 crossbred ewes. He sowed grazing canola for the first time in September 2014 with impressive results. “We are aiming to get more production off our low, wet areas, with 15-20 percent of our paddocks being too wet to be growing canola in an average sort of year,” said Mills. “Using grazing canola, the time of sowing means the roots can get more established through summer to handle the wet in the following winter, plus its vernalisation requirement means it won’t go straight to flower.”
A group of growers in Alberta, Canada is donating the sales of its canola crop to help battle world hunger. Farmers participating in the Share the Harvest project harvested their canola crop together on a donated 150 acre field with donated combines. The seed, fertilizer and herbicides used were also gifted. The proceeds from the sale of the crop will go to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an organization that works to end hunger in developing countries. Shaun Galloway, director of the local Share the Harvest chapter, estimated the group will earn $100,000 from this year’s crop, which will grow to a $500,000 charity contribution with the help of federal government grants.
Latest Inudstry News
Dow AgroSciences has developed a new trait for canola meal to make it more competitive with soybean meal in the livestock sector. Canola meal has historically traded at a 35 percent discount to soybean meal due to its lower protein levels. The trait, developed through conventional breeding techniques, significantly boosts canola protein levels. “We think we can change the value from being 65 percent of soy up to the range of about 85 percent of soy,” said David Dzisiak, commercial leader, grains and oils, for Dow. Global demand for vegetable protein is forecasted to be 37 percent higher in 2023 than it was in 2013, according to a Rabobank report.
QY Research Group’s Global Canola Oil Industry 2015 Market Research report, which gives a comprehensive account of the global canola oil market, was recently released for purchase. The report details the size of the market, key players, segmentation, SWOT analysis, influential trends and business environment of the market. Key opportunities of the fastest growing canola oil market segments are also covered as well as the trends driving the leading geographical and emerging regions, according to a Sept. 29 press release.
In recognition for outstanding contributions to the industry, Jeff Scott, a canola grower from Pond Creek, Okla., was awarded the 2015 Mark C. Boyles Oilseed Industry Meritorious Service Award by the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission. Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Reese, who nominated Scott for the award, said, “Jeff’s record of contributions to the agricultural industry in general and specifically to the canola industry are matched by very few.” Scott is widely appreciated for his detailed knowledge of the industry and for his willingness to share that with others. He led the establishment of the Great Plains Canola Association in 2007 and has served as the organization’s president since its inception. He also worked aggressively with the state legislature to establish the Oklahoma Oilseed Commission. Scott is a long-time member of the U.S. Canola Association’s Board of Directors and currently serves as president of the organization.
The Minnesota Canola Council’s annual meeting, “Manage Canola Input and Watch Your Profits Grow,” will be Wednesday, Dec. 16, at the Roseau Community Center in Roseau, Minn. Mike Krueger of The Money Farm leads the line-up of speakers discussing topics from canola supply and demand forecasts to row spacing and seeding rates.
The 9th Annual Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) Canola Research Conference will be Thursday, Nov. 19 at the North Dakota State University Alumni Center in Fargo. The NCGA’s 19th Annual Canola Expo will be in Langdon, N.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Langdon Activity Center. More information on both events is available at NorthernCanola.com.
About the USCA
Attending the USCA Board of Directors’ meeting? The last chance to reserve your room at Hotel Mazarin in New Orleans is Nov. 2. The hotel room block ($179/night) runs Sunday, Nov. 8 to Tuesday, Nov. 10. Book online or call 800-535-9111 and identify yourself as part of the USCA to make reservations.
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