Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Captiol Hill

Well, it expired. Barring an 11th hour breakthrough, Congress let the farm bill expire on Sept. 30. While there were significant discussions in September, none led to any significant movement in partisan gridlock over work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Successful Farming lays out what went wrong in the negotiation process and what comes next for producers.
USCA Executive Director John Gordley lays out what the expiration of the farm bill means specifically for canola.

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue over concerns about the tariffs hurting American farmers as a result of the U.S. trade war with China. While Perdue created the Market Facilitation Program, which gives farmers subsidies to offset tariffs, canola is not included. Heitkamp urged that canola be listed as an eligible commodity in the aid package. “Canola growers in the United States have lost $32.70/acre on the 2 million acres of canola planted in 2018,” she wrote. “Clearly canola growers have experienced losses as a result of the current trade war.”

On Oct. 1, Canada and the United States reached an agreement, alongside Mexico, on a new trade agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). “USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region,” stated U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. “It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”


Long-chain omega-3 canola is one step closer to the American market, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved Nuseed for planting in the United States. However, the agency will not permit Nuseed canola oil for use in food or feed just yet, although approval is expected by the 2019 growing season, according to Food Dive. Once approved, 2.5 acres of its “proprietary canola could produce the same amount of DHA oil that can be extracted from 10,000 one-kilogram fish.”

Canola production in Western Australia could start picking up steam thanks to advances in genomics, according to the 2018 AusCanola conference. FarmWeekly reported that with the canola genome sequence (Brassica napus) introduced in 2014, CRISPR gene editing technology developments and Roundup Ready® varieties, there’s promise for an increase in yields. “Genomics is allowing us to edit specific points on genes and we don’t have to go through the whole genetic modification anymore so we can now pinpoint targets on genes – it’s much quicker,” said Jacqui Batley, associate professor at the University of Western Australia.


Cooking Light’s resident nutritionist Breirley Horton wrote what we already know so well: Canola oil is the best oil to with which to cook. While other oils are great for finishing dishes, she said canola oil is king for any sort of cooking – sautéing, frying, baking – thanks to its high smoke point. And there are plenty of health benefits too. “When you break down the fat profile, canola oil has only 7 percent saturated fat per tablespoon,” Horton wrote. “That’s lower than any other common cooking oil. It also has no cholesterol.”

We all want to stave off health problems that could impact us later in life like dementia and Alzheimer’s. In the Columbia Daily Tribune, columnist Jeanette Nichols outlined two recent studies (SPRINT and POINTER) that show promising research for a healthy brain later in life. Both showed similar results: exercise and a heart-healthy diet make a lasting impact on our cognitive health as we age. Nichols suggested following a heart-healthy diet to help the brain and it should include canola oil.

Other Country News

Clubroot is hurting Canadian canola yields across the country, Bloomberg reported. What started as a couple of strains in 2003 has led to a couple of hundred every year, and the disease is becoming resistant to tools that combat it. However, there isn’t data on how much clubroot impacts canola in Canada. “It’s a devastating pest and it’s very difficult to control,” said Sebastien Dutrisac, ag worker  in Alberta. “We only have a very small amount of options genetically and if we don’t take care of it, we’re going to be ruining the tool that we have.”

It’s not all good news for Western Australia’s canola prospects this year. According to Grain Central, populations of diamondback moth caterpillars are increasing in Western Australia, which can cause severe yield losses in canola crops. To mitigate damage, Synergy Consulting’s Chris Wilkins recommends sweep-netting crops twice a week. “Sweep net your crops early, sweep often and be aware that you can often obtain economically viable results even from spraying crops that have lower yield potential,” he advised.

Australia’s canola hay has struggled over the past decade, thanks to one 2008 batch where the crops were cut almost to a bundle of sticks. That’s changing, however, as farmers are starting to realize that canola hay cut at the right time is a “top notch feed source,” according to the North Queensland Register. While prices still vary and some farmers remain cautious, it’s becoming clear that “quality canola hay will be very useful.”

Latest Industry News

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has been busy this year, noted Ryan Pederson, board member of the NBB and U.S. Canola Association (USCA). Namely, the NBB has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency to increase biomass-based diesel and advanced volumes. It also kicked off an advertising campaign that aims to educate people in the mid-Atlantic who might be unfamiliar with biodiesel. To read more about NBB activities, check out Pederson’s report in the USCA blog.

The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) will hold its 12th Annual Canola Research Conference in Fargo on Thursday, Nov. 15. Researchers with projects funded through the National Canola Research Program and directly through the NCGA will report on the results of their research and receive feedback from canola growers and canola industry representatives from North Dakota and Minnesota. The meeting is open to all canola industry partners and growers. To attend, please call the NCGA office at 701-223-4124.

The 21st Annual NCGA Canola Expo will be in Langdon, N.D., on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Featured speakers will focus on oilseed markets and canola clubroot research. The expo will also feature a trade show and the NCGA annual membership meeting.


About the USCA

The 5th National Canola Research Conference (NCRC), sponsored by the USCA and canola industry, will be Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 5-6, 2018 in Baltimore, Md. It will be held in conjunction with the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and Crop Science Society of America annual meetings. A range of agronomy, nutrition and industrial topics will be addressed. “The NCRC elevates the status of canola as a prominent cash crop and promotes its agronomic benefits to crop rotation,” said Mike Stamm, NCRC organizer and ASA member. More info is in his post in the USCA blog.

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