Canola Quick Bytes

A supplement to U.S. Canola Digest

Capitol Hill

On July 30, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened a public comment period to respond to a petition from the Natural Resource Defense Council to revoke all food tolerances for neonicotinoid insecticides on the basis that EPA failed to properly assess human health effects during its registration review process. The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) submitted comments Aug. 28 with concerns about the petition, reiterating the need for appropriate and responsible use of neonicotinoids.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that would codify the Precautionary Principle and make significant changes to pesticide laws. The Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020 calls for a comprehensive reform of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Among the bills changes, it would ban all organophosphates and neonicotinoids, rollback federal preemption of state and local pesticide regulations, ban any pesticide banned by the EU or Canada, and additional steps that could block or slow the EPA registration review process. The USCA is part of a Pesticide Policy Coalition that will educate Congressional offices on pesticide issues and oppose the new act.

The USCA joined over 100 agricultural organizations in expressing views and priorities to Congressional transportation committee leaders on the surface transportation (highway bill) that is due for reauthorization by Oct. 1. Their letter focused on trucking policies of greatest importance to the food and agricultural supply chain. The groups represent farmers, ranchers, food and beverage manufacturers, processors, package suppliers, farm supply dealers and agricultural product marketers.

On Aug. 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule on implementation of changes to payment limitations and the definition of “actively engaged” in farming. In accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill, the rule includes first cousins, nieces, and nephews while also requiring that family members provide at least 25 percent of total management hours or perform at least 500 hours of management annually.

Also in August, the USDA Farm Service Agency announced that Farm Storage Facility Loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges have a one-time annual installment payment deferral option.

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden states that he plans to remove U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports to normalize trade between the two countries. He believes that tariffs have damaged U.S. agriculture and manufacturing worth millions of dollars. Biden calls for reform in trade policies and a broad international coalition to press China to follow world trade rules. Prior to the trade war, China was America’s number one customer for agricultural exports.

Since sufficient funding remains under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), U.S. farmers are expected to receive the remaining 20 percent of the eligible amount from the first round of CFAP payments. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the relief program to a dozen more commodities and the application deadline to Sept. 11. In addition, Secretary Perdue has indicated USDA’s intent to announce a second round of CFAP payments after Labor Day. Changes to the payment structure are possible.


Farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update Price Loss Coverage (PLC) yields of covered commodities, regardless of Agriculture Risk Coverage and PLC program election. The updated yield will be calculated based on the producer’s average yield in crop years 2013-2017. The deadline to request a PLC yield update is Sept. 30, 2020. Decision tools are online. USDA service centers are now open for business as well.

Last year’s canola harvest and storage conditions were extremely challenging due to terrible weather and harvested grain going into wet bins, leaving producers fighting for weeks or months to pull it into proper storage condition. To combat storage this year, experts say the best way to improve storage is to be “extremely vigilant and proactive both during harvest and storage about temperature variation, moisture levels and potential moisture pockets.” Other important factors include green seed and grain conditioning.

What is an acceptable amount of canola combine loss for your farm? The Canola Council of Canada has provides helpful tools to help answer this question.



Despite resistance accepting genetically modified crops, such as canola, a new EU study finds that “GMO herbicide-tolerant canola poses no hazard to human health.” After the submission of an application from Monsanto Company, the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) of the European Food Safety Authority was asked to deliver a scientific risk assessment. The GMO Panel concluded that “there is no evidence for new hazards, modified exposure or scientific uncertainties that would change the conclusions of the original risk assessment.”

Other Country News

A new genetically modified canola variety producing long-chain omega-3 oil has been approved to be grown and consumed by humans and fish in Canada. Nuseed Americas developed the variety to produce canola oil as an alternative to fish oil in aquafeed (marketed as Aquaterra) and for human nutrition (marketed as Nutriterra). Nuseed is currently progressing additional regulatory applications in other relevant markets around the world.

Despite the global pandemic, Canadian canola prices have soared to their highest in nearly two years. This is largely due to exporters finding roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyers in China despite a block on Canadian canola shipments to China since March 2019 after the arrest of a Huawei executive. Growers in Canada are stunned and rejoicing.

Latest Industry News

The NCGA’s 23rd Annual Canola Expo will be virtual this year on Dec. 8. Check for details.


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