Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The 2016 National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) canola research grants have been awarded! The winning project titles, entities and amounts are:

• North Central Region Canola Research Program, North Dakota State University, $190,500
• A Systems-Based Approach to Building Acres and Improving Production of Winter Canola in the Southern Great Plains, Oklahoma State University, $193,105
• Improving Canola Production and Production Systems with Genetic and Agronomic Advances to Increase Canola Acreage in the Pacific Northwest, Regents of the University of Idaho, $189,185
• Development and Management of Canola in the Great Plains Region, Kansas State University, $195,000

Congress avoided a government shutdownon Sept. 30 after an agreement was reached on a fiscal year 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund federal government operations at fiscal year 2016 levels through Dec. 9. The Senate approved the CR by a vote of 72-26 and the House by a vote of 342-85. Both chambers have now gone into recess for the campaign season and will re-turn the week of Nov. 14 for a lame duck session after the Nov. 8 election. The one must-pass item (by midnight Dec. 9) will be the FY 2017 omnibus appropriations bill to provide discretionary spending through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2017. Other items that may be discussed in the lame duck session include the Water Resource Development Act, Child Nutrition reauthori-zation bill, tax extenders bill and Trans Pacific Partnership.


Montana State University Extension is offering a bulletin with suggestions on regional soil nutrient management practices for canola. Based on the “4R” concept, the publication emphasizes selecting the right fertilizer source, rate, placement and timing. It also includes information about the use of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients in addition to presenting photos to help identify nutrient deficiencies. According to Clain Jones, bulletin co-author and extension soil fertility specialist, “getting the 4Rs not only increases your bottom line, it also protects soil, water and air resources.”


A Sept. 22 online article in the Journal of Medical Economics shows nearly $26 billion annual savings in medical care expenditures due to a switch from a diet high in saturated fat to one high in monounsaturated fat. Using 2010 data, the study concluded that diets high in saturated fat impose substantial medical care and job absenteeism costs by increasing incidence of heart disease. Medical care cost savings from avoided heart disease was estimated using data on nearly 248,000 adults from the 2000-2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Savings from reduced job absenteeism was estimated by applying the number of annual work loss days to data on about 165,000 adults from the MEPS. The study bodes well for canola oil, which is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. It was conducted by notable U.S. and Canadian nutrition researchers Penny Kris-Etherton of Pennsylvania State University and Peter Jones of the University of Manitoba.

As part of Hispanic Heritage month — which runs until Oct. 15 — CanolaInfo partnered with Registered Dietitian and author Manuel Villacorta on a “Corazón Canola” campaign, featuring Latin-inspired recipes made healthier with canola oil. Since Hispanics and Latinos are at increased risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association, the campaign promotes simple ingredient swaps to help reduce this risk.

Celebrate the return of fall with a healthy, naturally sweet muffin recipe. Served up from the editors at Triathlete Magazine, the Herbed Cornmeal, Cranberry and Date Muffins are made with canola oil.


Other Country News

China and Canada have agreed to a longer term solution to their dispute over the maximum level of dockage in canola shipments to China. Earlier this year, China had announced that it would no longer allow more than 1 percent dockage, or foreign material, in shipments of canola imports. Yet Canadian officials have argued that the new rule is too restrictive and unnecessary to prevent the spread of blackleg. The prior limit was 2.5 percent, the international standard, which will continue to persist until 2020 or until new negotiations are reached.

Researchers at the University of Alberta developed a spray-foam insulation partly made with canola oil. The product, known as BioFoam, is intended for use in roof and wall insulation. Though the main advantage is the environmental friendliness of this application, another benefit certainly goes to the canola sector, which could see an economic boost.

Canola crops in southern New South Wales and Victoria, Australia have been suffering from heavy rainfalls and therefore, heightened levels of blackleg and sclerotinia. Dr. Kurt Lindbeck, senior plant pathologist, has called the impact of disease on canola yields “out of growers’ hands.”

Latest Industry News

It’s been months in the making, but finally, Bayer and Monsanto have reached an agreement. Bayer, the German drug and agrochemical maker, is planning to purchase U.S.-based seed and herbicide company Monsanto for approximately $66 billion. The deal is anticipated to close by the end of 2017, though it remains subject to the approval of Monsanto shareholders, who would receive $128 per share.

However, the Bayer-Monsanto deal continues to face scrutiny that could cause it to fall apart. The problem relates to consolidation, as there are currently six companies that rule the biotech seed and agrochemical industries. But both Bayer and Monsanto have defended the deal, calling it a “perfect match.”

The Minnesota Canola Council’s annual meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the Roseau Community Center. Look for more details at

About the USCA

“A lot of folks here in the southern Great Plains have worked hard to establish a ‘canola culture’ where each year, canola growers aren’t deciding if they will grow the crop but how much to plant,” says Ron Sholar, executive director of the Great Plains Canola Association in the USCA blog this month. “That’s the commitment we need to see for this crop to really take hold and be long-term, sustainable and profitable in the southern Great Plains.”

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