Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

The Agriculture Act of 2014, better known as the 2014 Farm Bill, expires on Sept. 30, 2018 and “the stars will need to align perfectly for the 2018 bill to be finished by the time the 2014 one expires,” according to Dale Thorenson, assistant director of the U.S. Canola Association (USCA), in the latest USCA blog. Before that happens, Congress has to pass 12 annual appropriations bills and increase the national debt limit. It’s also faced with repealing the Affordable Care Act as well as passing major tax reform and an infrastructure bill. So, it’s not looking good for the 2018 Farm Bill. Thorenson describes potential back-up plans.

The USCA, both individually and as part of the Coalition for Safe, Affordable Food, submitted letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service regarding the establishment of a national bioengineered food disclosure standard. The Coalition actively supports a “uniform national disclosure standard for bioengineered food [that] prevents a patchwork of state-by-state or other governmental subdivision food labeling requirements that would have driven up food costs for consumers.” The USCA recommends establishing a 5 percent threshold for triggering the disclosure and calls for the exemption of this disclosure on refined foods made from bioengineered ingredients that do not contain genetic material, such as canola oil.

The USCA submitted public comments Aug. 31 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements for 2018-19. The EPA calls for biomass-based diesel volumes of 2.1 billion gallons for 2019 (the same level as 2018) and advanced biofuels volumes of 4.24 billion gallons for 2018 (below the 4.28 level in 2017). In its comments, the USCA urged EPA to increase the volumes for biomass-based diesel to 2.5 billion gallons for 2019 and for total advanced biofuels to 4.75 billion gallons in 2018. Around 1 billion pounds of canola oil is used annually in biodiesel production, accounting for about 10 percent of U.S. annual production. The USCA noted that canola biodiesel contributes to the expansion and diversification of U.S. fuel and energy production, reduces emissions and improves air quality, and provides jobs and additional economic benefits, especially in rural communities.


Straight-cutting is a viable method for harvesting canola, according to a study from the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute. Conducted last year, the study found no significant differences in yield, engine speed, dockage, oil content, green seed or seed weight when comparing straight-cutting to swathing. However, straight-cutting seems to be a better option for shatter-resistant canola varieties.

A study, undertaken by the University of Saskatchewan and funded by the National Crop Insurance Services in Kansas, is investigating if aerial imagery taken by drones can assess hail damage in canola and correctly predict associated yield loss. In 2015, about $41.5 million in hail insurance claims was paid out in Saskatchewan alone. Drone technology could help collect information beneficial to both adjusters and farmers as well as help producers predict yield following animal tramping and lodging.


When it comes to grilling, canola oil offers a double benefit for cooking and for health, CanolaInfo spokesperson and Registered Dietitian Manuel Villacorta told Latin Times. “There is even evidence that it helps reduce abdominal fat.” To take advantage of canola oil’s high smoke point, neutral flavor, versatility, and healthy monounsaturated fat, try adding this niçoise salad with grilled tuna to your Labor Day barbecue menu.

Vegetables don’t have to be boring when you can turn Portobello mushrooms or asparagus stalks into snackable and stackable fries, notes NBC’s “Today” show online. With a batter made from flour, club soda and eggs, you can fry mushrooms, asparagus or almost any other vegetable in canola oil to enjoy alongside a homemade dipping sauce.

Other Country News

Though canola overtook wheat this year as the largest crop grown in Canada, acres of the plant have actually been declining in Ontario. That’s in part because pests and diseases make growing canola more difficult than other crops, including soybeans, corn and wheat. But the Canola Learning Centre—set up by the Ontario Canola Growers and Agronomy Advantage Inc.—is working to reverse the canola trend in the province. At a recent grower day near Arthur, Ont., industry experts talked to farmers about the challenges of growing profitable canola, while providing tips like using higher nitrogen rates and clubroot-resistant canola with longer rotations.

Nuseed company will introduce a new hybrid of triazine-tolerant canola in Australia next season. This canola is currently the most widely grown in the country, thanks to its effective weed management system. But Nuseed is developing a full portfolio of these canola varieties, known as HyTTec. They combine “hybrid seed traits, such as early vigor, a strengthened disease background and excellent yield performance,” Nuseed Australia told Farm Weekly.

Market Research Future recently released its “Global Canola Oil Market Research Report- Forecast to 2023,” displaying company information and geographical data for the canola oil industry/market. Key players profiled in the report include Archer Daniels Midland Company and Sunora Foods, while key geographies profiled are Europe and China as major producers of canola-quality rapeseed oil. The top five importers of canola/rapeseed oil are the U.S., Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and France. (“Rapeseed” is still used as a term in Europe for edible oil with the same profile as canola.)

Latest Industry News

Washington State University released preliminary yield data from its winter canola variety trials, with above average yields in Ralston and St. John and below average yield in Odessa. The lower yields may result from several factors, including variation in emergence, very small plant size (going into winter), moderate to heavy weed pressure, and unknown residual herbicide history. For more on variety trial results, plus a list of 2017 winter oilseed suppliers and multiple case studies and fact sheets, visit the university’s Oilseed Cropping Systems Production Information site.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition launched a 2017 Bee Nutrition Challenge: an innovation award encouraging people to submit creative and practical proposals to advance honey bee nutrition. The competition is already open; project submissions must be received by Oct. 6. Finalists will then compete in a “Shark Tank”-style showdown at the 2018 American Bee Research Conference in Reno, Nev., with $40,000 in total prize money.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition is also working with a group of partners and allies on its Bee Integrated Demonstration Project. Piloted in North Dakota—the leading U.S. honey-producing state—the project unites beekeepers and producers to show how agricultural best practices can support the health of pollinators. The multi-year project supports participants with expertise, training and resources to address honey bee pests and diseases, forage and nutrition, and crop pest management, while measuring the impact on bee populations for three years. Results are then shared with beekeeping and agricultural communities in hopes of applying lessons and best practices in other locations.

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