Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest


Capitol Hill

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently invested $900,000 in hemp and canola research. The money was given through five awards from the Supplemental and Alternative Crops program that “support projects that lead to expanded adaptation and increased acres in the United States of canola grown for oil.” Results from the studies, including canola development in the Pacific Northwest (University of Idaho), Great Plains (Kansas State University) and Southern Great Plains (Texas A&M University), will be distributed to producers through effective extension outreach and more.

Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden appear to be nearing agreement on a $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” reconciliation package that will be in addition to a $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure package. Both packages would be fully offset and include investments in roads, bridges, ports, inland waterways, rural broadband, conservation programs, agricultural research, food and nutrition – all of which will benefit agriculture and canola. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) joined agricultural and industry partners on letters to advocate for prioritizing investments in research and broadband. The USCA also provided comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation on infrastructure and transportation for U.S. agriculture.

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Oct. 25 on “21st Century Advancements and Applications of Agricultural Biotechnology” and the USCA weighed-in with supportive comments.

The USCA also submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on biological evaluations for neonicotinoid insecticides. The association stressed that farmer access to and use of neonicotinoid systemic seed treatments, including imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, to control flea beetle infestations is essential to canola production.

Biden Administration officials indicated that the United States would not pursue a Phase Two trade deal with China. In a speech on Oct. 4, U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai said U.S. tariffs imposed on imports from China will remain as the administration plans to “build on” existing tariffs and confront Beijing for failing to fulfill its obligations under the Phase One trade agreement.

Agronomy

In addition to drought dramatically lowering canola yields, flea beetles have been plaguing crops in North Dakota this year, reports AgWeek. Yields of 1.4 tons per hectare are the lowest they’ve been since 2003 – down 39 percent from the five-year average. Production of 1.9 billion pounds in 2021 was a whopping 35 percent less than last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service Oct. 12 crop production report.

According to forecasts from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, global oilseed production is expected to decline in 2021-22. This is mostly due to supply chain uncertainties and labor shortages from COVID-19 as well as weather. Canada, the world’s top exporter of canola, is expected to be hit especially hard due to drought.

Nutrition

Canola oil not only tastes good, it’s also good for your heart! The American Heart Association recognizes canola oil in its Heart-Check Food Certification Program because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim on the oil’s ability to reduce risk of heart disease. Products qualifying for the Heart-Check mark can put it on their labels for consumers to easily identify them as heart-healthy.

Other Country News

Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Víctor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula said his country would allow imports of U.S.-produced biotech corn, responding to increasing concern from U.S. officials and agricultural groups regarding a Mexican presidential decree calling for the ban of genetically modified corn by 2024.

With droughts hitting Canadian farmers particularly hard, canola supply chains are relying on other countries like Australia to export canola to markets such as Japan and Mexico. While Australia is benefitting from the situation, the Canadian shortfall is driving up prices and disrupting supplies.

Canada’s relationship with China might finally be restored after the release of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in 2018. This caused a ripple effect of trade wars that affected Canadian canola imports into China. It is expected that the return of Wanzhou will restore trade. With Canadian canola seriously affected by drought this year, it may take time for exports to China to resume.

Latest Industry News

Canola oil used in jet biofuel could be the future of air travel! By replacing petroleum with a canola oil-based biofuel, carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 68 percent. With Biden’s new sustainable fuel tax credit, the innovation is coming at a great time. Biden hopes to drop aviation emissions by 20 percent by 2030.

Despite their typical connection, soybean prices have not been consistent with canola prices lately. This is due to drought in Canada driving up the latter. Soybean prices are now the lowest they’ve been since last December yet canola prices are extremely high. Time will tell if they readjust to normal congruency.

On Oct. 28, Corteva announced that Chuck Magro was appointed its new Chief Executive Officer, effective Nov. 1, 2021. He will also join Corteva’s Board of Directors. Magro most recently served as CEO of Nutrien and has extensive experience leading global agricultural companies. He succeeds James C. Collins, Jr., who will work alongside Magro until he retires from Corteva at year-end.

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) will hold its 15th annual canola research conference on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 8 am in Fargo, N.D. at the NDSU Memorial Union. Regional researchers will present their 2021 findings. The evening beforehand, the NCGA Board of Directors will meet and they invite growers to express any concerns they may have in advance.

Canola Week by the Canola Council of Canada will be Nov 30.-Dec 2. This online meeting will cover the state of the canola industry in Canada, latest research and cutting-edge innovation. Register here.

The 24th annual NCGA Canola Expo will be Tuesday, Dec. 14 in Langdon, N.D. Keynoter Mike Krueger will discuss the renewable fuel revolution that is changing oilseed markets and the “domestication” of the oilseed industry. Longtime canola expert Ron Beneda will moderate a panel of growers who will discuss new innovations in canola planting. Dr. Venkat Chapara will review results of a newly completed clubroot survey and Dr. Jan Knodel will discuss diamondback moth control in canola. The event will also include a trade show and the NCGA membership meeting.

About the USCA

The U.S. Canola Association will host its autumn annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 8-10. Speakers will address infrastructure, disaster assistance and appropriation bills; biodiesel and renewable diesel; biotechnology, crop protection and trade; climate action and carbon markets; pollinator enhancements by Natural Resources Conservation Service, canola omega-3 trait developments, 2023 Farm Bill planning and National Canola Research Program updates. All USCA members are welcome to attend. Registration is online.

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