Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

Last month, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nominations of Stephen Censky as agriculture deputy secretary and Ted McKinney as agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. The Committee is planning to hold a business meeting Oct. 2 to advance their nomination to the full Senate. Both nominees are expected to secure committee approval and Senate confirmation with no issues.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Sept. 26 that it is considering a plan to lower the 2018 biomass-based biodiesel requirement by as much as 315 million gallons and the 2019 volume requirement down to the 1 billion gallons required by law. It requested comments within 15 days per the Federal Register.

Republican leadership just released a tax reform framework document that will impact reconciliation instructions for the FY 2018 budget. Of interest for agriculture is the indication that net interest costs may no longer qualify as a deductible expense and businesses would be allowed to immediately write off the cost of new machinery in depreciable assets. Tax cuts contained in the plan will cost an estimated $1.5 trillion.

Last month, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 through Dec. 8 and lift the national debt ceiling through the same time period. The CR has $15 billion in aid for natural disasters, including a temporary reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Congress now has until Dec. 8 to finish 12 annual appropriation bills.


Because seeding rate and plant stand are such integral parts of optimizing canola yield, it’s important for canola growers to know details like how many plants are in their field. And the best time to discover that information? After harvest, Rob McDonald, a senior agronomist with Bayer Crop Science, told Grainews. “If there are too many plants, the crop might look good, but the yield isn’t there. And if there are 10- to 12-inch gaps or more between plants in seed rows then you are also losing productivity.”

With fall underway, it’s time for canola growers to begin scouting for blackleg. During swathing or combining, as stems are cut, it becomes easier for producers to identify blackened tissue inside the crowns of stems. And at that point, reducing the risk of blackleg next spring comes down to genetics and rotation. “The more you can identify it, the more you’re going to know whether you’re successful at controlling it,” Clint Jurke, agronomy director at the Canola Council of Canada, told the Alberta Farmer Express.


With so many mixed messages, choosing a healthy diet isn’t as simple as deciding between a diet low in fat or low in carbs. After all, which one is better for your heart? Current research suggests that carbs may actually be worse than fat when it comes to cardiovascular disease. “Think about cutting some of those carbs and replacing them with healthy fats from foods like canola oil, salmon … and small amounts of full-fat dairy,” Registered Dietitian Karen Ansel told Women’s Health magazine.

Looking for easy and healthy recipes that can do double duty? CanolaInfo created a “cook once, eat twice” collection. Check out these chicken and pork recipes that help you stretch meals, transform leftovers and create two unique dishes from one main ingredient (plus canola oil!). For example, turn mint-parsley-lemon chicken today into chicken and feta grain bowls tomorrow.

Other Country News

 Just 34 percent of canola harvested in Canada this spring was graded No. 1. That’s down from about 90 percent the year before. According to the Canadian Grain Commission, common downgrading factors included high levels of damaged seeds associated with sour, musty and rancid odors as well as seeds with unnatural colors, reported The Western Producer. The culprit? About 1.7 million acres of canola were not harvested before winter and therefore spent the season in the field. Apparently, winter was not kind to canola quality.

Health Canada’s proposed ban on the insecticide Lamba-cyhalothrin has canola farmers in Canada concerned, according to Commonly known as Matador from Syngenta, the insecticide helps manage pests like flea beetles, cutworms, bertha armyworms and diamondback moths. Producers were given until Sept. 21 to share their opinions with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency; a decision is still pending.

Latest Industry News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Generally Recognized As Safe Letter of No Objection concerning Cargill’s canola lecithin for use as an ingredient in a variety of food applications (e.g., chocolate and confections, beverages, baked goods and convenience foods). Canola lecithin is a non-GMO option that can be used in organic products and it does not have to be declared as a food allergen in the U.S. “By adding canola lecithin to our well-established soy and sunflower lecithin GMO and non-GMO portfolio, our customers can be assured that whatever their needs, we have plant-sourced lecithin options that will work for them,” said David Henstrom, Cargill texturizing solutions regional director for the Americas.

The Northern Canola Growers Association will hold its 11th Annual Canola Research Conference at North Dakota State University’s Alumni Center in Fargo on Thursday, Nov. 16 and its 20th Annual Canola Expo on Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Langdon. The expo will feature Bruce Vincent, a compelling, “tell-it-like-is” motivational speaker who has appeared on news shows such as “60 Minutes” and traveled the world speaking about agricultural issues. His keynote speech, “With Vision, There is Hope,” will be complemented by presentations from leading N.D. agronomists on key issues impacting today’s canola industry.

The Minnesota Canola Council will hold its annual meeting Dec. 6 at the Roseau Community Center. Free for farmers, university personnel and sponsors who pre-register, the event will feature industry experts as speakers to help prepare for a successful 2018 growing season. Council members should watch their mail for a pre-registration form. The Minnesota Canola Council board of directors also has two new members, effective in September 2017: Jade Estling representing District 3 and Kevin Severson elected at-large.

It’s not too early to register for the Canola Council of Canada’s annual convention in Palm Springs, Calif., March 6-8, 2018. Called “Rise & Shine,” the three-day event will include speaker sessions and evening networking events/socials. For more on why you should attend, check out the event site or simply register now.

About the USCA

Visit the U.S. Canola Association (USCA) website to read our latest blog entitled “Restricted Canola Acreage Continues in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.” Authored by Anna Scharf, board member of the USCA and Willamette Valley Oil Seed Producers Association, she describes what’s ahead as the law restricting canola production in the Willamette Valley sunsets on July 1, 2019. Concerns from vegetable seed growers continue to limit canola, which has great potential as a rotational crop in the region.

Save the date! The USCA will hold its fall board of directors membership meeting in Memphis Nov. 6-8.

Are you following the USCA on social media? Receive daily updates when you follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Also, check out canola-related videos on our YouTube channel.