Northern Canola Growers Officers Re-Elected at Meeting

At a recent meeting of the Northern Canola Growers Association, Pat Murphy of Minot was re-elected Board President, Dan Marquardt of Bottineau was re-elected Vice President and Tim Mickelson of Rolla was re-elected Treasurer. 

The NCGA Board also welcomed new Producer Board Member Michael Brekhus of Kenmare and Industry Board Member Courtney Meduna, Technical Agronomist with Bayer Crop Science, of Minot.  The board also extends its thanks to outgoing board member Zach Schaefer of Langdon.

North Dakota growers continue to be the No. 1 producers of canola in the U.S., planting nearly 1.6 million acres of the crop in 2018

Canola is an edible type of rapeseed developed in the 1970s. Each canola variety has distinctive agronomic characteristics that producers should consider when selecting a hybrid to grow.

“Choosing a hybrid is one of the most important decisions a producer makes in raising a successful crop,” says Hans Kandel, a North Dakota State University Extension agronomist and co-author of NDSU Extension’s recently revised “Canola Production Field Guide.”

Key factors in choosing a canola hybrid are:

* Yield – Select hybrids with consistently high yields.

* Maturity – Some hybrids can mature 10 or more days later than others.

* Plant height and lodging – These are important for ease of swathing.

* Disease tolerance – Growing disease-resistant hybrids reduces the chances of yield loss.

* Seeding vigor – Hybrids with good seeding vigor will be more competitive with early season weeds and more likely to push through a shallow crust.

The updated “Canola Production Field Guide,” a spiral-bound pocket-sized publication, has more information about hybrid selection. Other topics covered in the publication include understanding the growth and development of canola plants, planting canola in crop rotations, field selection and preparation, planting date guidelines, seeding rates, frost tolerance and damage, soil fertility requirements, weed control, insect pest and disease management, swathing and harvest management, and drying and storage. The publication also lists websites and other resources with additional information, and has several photos of agronomy issues, weeds, insects and diseases.

“The previous field guide was published in 2011 and was in need of major updates, especially on the canola diseases of blackleg, sclerotinia and clubroot; canola insects; variety selection; weed management; desiccation at harvest; and other management issues,” Kandel says.

NDSU Extension specialists and NDSU agricultural researchers revised the guide.

North Dakota growers can obtain a free copy of the publication, as long as the supply lasts, from NDSU Extension’s county offices; the Research Extension Centers in Carrington, Dickinson, Hettinger, Langdon, Minot and Williston; or the NDSU Distribution Center on the NDSU campus. An online version of the guide is available at

To purchase the publication, contact the NDSU Distribution Center at

701-231-7883 or by email at

The Northern Canola Growers Association partially funded the “Canola Production Field Guide.”

USDA Annual Crop Production Reports Record ND Canola Acres, Yield:

The USDA issued its Annual Crop Production Report on February 8th.  The report showed canola production in 2018 was estimated at a record 3.62 billion pounds, up 18 percent from 2017. The average yield, at a record high 1,861 pounds per acre, was up 335 pounds from the 2017 average yield. Planted area was estimated at 1.99 million acres, 4 percent below the previous year’s acreage.

Production in North Dakota, the leading canola-producing state, was estimated at 3.10 billion pounds. This was up 24 percent from the previous year and a record high production for North Dakota. Planted and harvested area in North Dakota were both record highs.

The average yield in North Dakota was the highest on record at 1,960 pounds per acre.

Canola Growers Encouraged to Participate in NDSU Survey

Canola growers are urged to participate in a recently developed survey by North Dakota State University to gather information on issues of importance to canola growers. This information includes impediments to good stand establishment and yields, including delayed planting, disease, insect or weed issues and fertility or weather issues. This information will be analyzed by NDSU to better enable the development of tools to assist growers in achieving higher yields in canola.  Information gathered will be strictly used for research purposes.  Thanks again for your participation!  Here is the link to the survey:

High-Oleic Canola Oil Eligible for New Qualified Health Claim Consuming this Oil in Place of Saturated Fat Can Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

WASHINGTON, DC — Not only can regular canola oil reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but also high-oleic canola oil: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized on Nov. 19 a qualified health claim that consuming edible oils containing at least 70 percent of the monounsaturated fat oleic acid per serving may reduce the risk of heart disease.

High-oleic canola oil is primarily used in commercial food service operations and food manufacturing due to its higher heat tolerance, more stability and longer shelf life than regular canola oil. Both oils have the same low level of saturated fat but high-oleic canola oil, as its name suggests, contains more oleic acid (and thereby less polyunsaturated fats). This profile makes high-oleic canola oil ideal as a replacement for partially hydrogenated (PH) oils, which account for about 80 percent of remaining dietary trans fat in North America via food products and food service.


“When greater performance is desired in a commercial kitchen, high-oleic canola oil is an ideal choice,” notes U.S. Canola Association President Rob Rynning. “It allows for extended fry life and cost efficiencies with the same heart health benefits as regular canola oil. As a result, high-oleic canola oil is becoming popular among U.S. restaurants and food service operations, including universities, state fairs, resorts and supermarket delis, as they continue to strive to eliminate artificial trans fat from their menus.”


A 2006 study by Texas A&M University showed that high-oleic canola oil has excellent fry life and is functionally equivalent to or better than PH oils. Yet unlike PH oils, high-oleic canola oil does not contain any trans fat. It has roughly 70 percent monounsaturated fat and a high smoke point (475 °F/246 °C) – slightly higher than regular canola oil.

“Using the FDA’s labeling tools to foster innovation toward healthier foods that consumers want is one of the primary goals of the FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “One tool the FDA has to help bring us closer to this important goal is the use of ‘health claims’ on food package labels … By allowing such claims, we at the FDA also hope to encourage the food industry to reformulate products.”

Based on its review of available scientific evidence, the FDA now permits manufacturers of high-oleic edible oils to use the following two claims on labels and in promotional materials:

“Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1½ tablespoons (20 grams) of oils containing high levels of oleic acid, when replaced for fats and oils higher in saturated fat, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. To achieve this possible benefit, oleic acid-containing oils should not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of [x] oil provides [x] grams of oleic acid (which is [x] grams of monounsaturated fatty acid).”

“Supportive but not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that daily consumption of about 1½ tablespoons (20 grams) of oils containing high levels of oleic acid, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. To achieve this possible benefit, oleic acid-containing oils should replace fats and oils higher in saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of [x] oil provides [x] grams of oleic acid (which is [x] grams of monounsaturated fatty acid.”

“High-oleic canola oil offers a heart-healthy alternative to sources of both trans and saturated fats in food products and food service operations,” Rynning concludes. “It’s good for both the food industry and consumers.”

Story by: Angela Dansby

For more information about canola oil, go to

USDA October Crop Report Shows Record Canola Production

The first production forecast for 2018 is 3.62 billion pounds, up 16 percent from the 2017 production of 3.12 billion pounds. If realized, this will be the largest production on record for the United States. Area planted, at 1.99 million acres, is down 3 percent from the June estimate and down 4 percent from last year’s record high area. Canola farmers expect to harvest 1.94 million acres, down 4 percent from June and down 3 percent from 2017. If realized, harvested area for the Nation will be the second largest on record. The October yield forecast, at a record high 1,864 pounds per acre, is 306 pounds above last year’s yield. If realized, the yield forecast in Idaho, North Dakota, and Washington will be the highest on record since the published data series began for those States.

The yield in North Dakota, the largest canola-producing State, is forecast at 1,920 pounds per acre, up 290 pounds from last year’s yield. Planted area in North Dakota is estimated at 1.59 million acres, unchanged from last year’s record high. Planting of the canola crop in North Dakota was generally behind last year’s pace, and didn’t catch up to the 5-year average until near the end of May. Blooming of the canola crop began in early June behind both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace. By July 1, blooming of the canola crop had advanced ahead of both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace. Maturation of the crop remained mostly ahead of both last year’s pace and the 5-year average pace for the remainder of the growing season and harvest was underway by early August. Harvest progress reached 91 percent complete by September 23, three percentage points behind last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Ninety-four percent of the crop was harvested by September 30.


NCGA Requests Canola Be Included in Aid Package

The Northern Canola Growers Association has sent in a request to the North Dakota delegation that canola be included as an eligible commodity under the proposed $12 Billion Aid Package that was announced recently by USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue.  Canola prices have dropped significantly recently along with soybeans in reaction to the trade dispute with China.  While canola has not had a tariff imposed upon it, canola growers are still suffering the same drop in revenue and inclusion of canola would be equitable for growers.  Below is the text of the request:

The Northern Canola Growers Association wishes to express its grave concern that canola has not been listed as an eligible commodity under the proposed $12 billion aid package.  We assume that one of the reasons is that canola has not had a tariff imposed on it.

While it is true that a tariff has not been imposed on canola by any major importing countries, this does not mean canola growers have not seen severe negative impacts to their bottom lines as a result of the vicious drop in canola price.  Historical prices prove the strong relationship between canola and soybean prices and as the soybean price has dropped, so has canola.

Local cash prices at ADM Velva for new crop canola dropped from $17.31 on June 1 to $15.21 by mid-July.  Based on an average yield of 1,850 pounds/acre, canola growers will receive $38.85 less per acre.  This means a revenue loss of $64 million for North Dakota canola growers!

We therefore request that canola be included in the announced aid package as an eligible commodity so that canola growers can share in the recovery of some of the lost revenue as a result of the ongoing trade dispute.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.


Canola growers are strongly encouraged to scout canola fields for clubroot; particularly growers in Cavalier County.
In North Dakota, confirmation of clubroot has been limited to few localized fields in Cavalier County. However, clubroot likely occurs in more fields than currently detected and favorable conditions for disease development and symptom expression at the end of the season have opened a critical window for scouting.
Infected plants are less tolerant to warm and dry conditions because their root system has been compromised by clubroot (Fig. 1). The dry conditions that prevailed during the past several weeks have stressed canola plants with clubroot, accentuated disease symptoms and made them much more visible. As stressed plants die prematurely, patches in fields that may resemble drought-stress appear (Fig. 2). Infected roots have galls that are brittle and may disintegrate easily when plants are pulled from the ground (Fig. 3).

NDSU Extension and canola pathology personnel, with support from the Northern Canola Growers Association, are conducting end-of-season field surveys to identify infested fields, but surveyors typically scout a relatively small number of fields in each county. We suggest growers investigate ‘dry spots’, use a shovel to dig out plants, and investigate roots for galling. Growers who suspect clubroot are encouraged to contact Dr. Venkata Chapara at the Langdon REC (701-256-2582), Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla at the Cavalier County Extension office (701-256-2560) or Dr. Luis del Río Mendoza in the Department of Plant Pathology (701-231-8362) or through NDSU Extension (701-231-8363). The NDSU canola pathology program led by Dr. del Río Mendoza has the capability to perform laboratory tests to verify clubroot presence in soil samples.
Growers who know their fields are infested with clubroot should take precautions to reduce its spread to other areas. Some of these precautions include working the ground of infested fields the last and cleaning the equipment before leaving the infested fields to avoid moving chunks of dirt in it. Tillage operations, like disking, plowing, and harrowing, facilitate the distribution of clubroot resting spores from galls into the soil profile and may bring some spores to its surface; thus, we recommend using no-till practices in infested fields. Spores located in the soil surface may be spread by equipment, wind, water overflow, and on boots. When walking on infested fields, we recommend wearing disposable shoe covers to minimize transport of soil.
In the upcoming year, growers who grow canola in areas where clubroot is known to occur are encouraged to plant clubroot-resistant hybrids and consider extending crop rotations to three years with non-host plants like wheat, barley, soybeans, or corn before planting canola again.




Sam Markell
Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crops

Venkat Chapara
Area Extension Specialist/Crop Protection
NCREC, Minot, ND-58701

Luis del Rio Mendoza
NDSU Plant Pathology Professor