Archived Posts

News Flash: January 15, 2015


EU Parliament Approves New GM Crops Planting Rules

The European Union’s legislature has approved a new law which allows the EU member states to ban the cultivation of genetically modified crops, even with approval by the food safety authority of the 28- nation bloc. After three years of deadlock, the law was supported by a margin on 480 for and 159 against, with 58 abstentions, in Strasbourg on Tuesday. This agreement gives national governments the final say in the matter which actually goes against many EU initiatives which traditionally seek a common stance for all member states. New York Times


GRAS status opens up market for Ahiflower, a plant-based omega 3-6-9 oil with high SDA levels

A new competitor has arrived on the plant-based omega-3s scene with the announcement of FDA no-objection GRAS status for Ahiflower oil, an ingredient from Technology Crops International. The oil offers a balance of omega-3, -6 and -9, according to the company. Food Navigator



Rising capacities, shift to distributed models and policies are top advanced biofuels trends, says E2 report

“The highest capacity since E2 released its first advanced biofuels market report in 2011,” says E2 in its annual advanced biofuels survey. The fourth edition of the must-read annual Biofuels Market Report from Environmental Entrepreneurs had arrived. The E2 report included biodiesel production and also includes projects still in the works. The report excludes non-food feed stocks used in biodiesel production, along with Brazilian sugarcane ethanol. Counts in the report may include actual production or production capacity and can partially or fully count a plant that may produce chemicals, as well as fuels. The report may define an advanced biofuel based on either feedstock or carbon score. Biofuels Digest



Canada – Federal investment supports canola industry growth

The president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), Patti Miller, sees the federal government’s investments to support market access and development activities as key to canola’s value, along with industry growth. The federal government made its investment announcement during CropShere in Saskatoon, with investments totaling around $9.5 million.  “The federal government’s strong and continued support is great news for the entire Canadian canola industry,” says Miller. “This investment will allow the CCC to make progress on two of our Keep it Coming 2025 strategic priorities: differentiated value in the marketplace, and stable and open trade.” The $9.5 million in funding will be combined with industry contributions with total investments equaling $19 million over five years. SeedQuest


Plant disease that affects canola found in Canada for first time: Canola Council

A disease previously reducing yields in some European canola crops has been detected in a Manitoba field in North America for the first time. Verticillium longisporum presence has been confirmed among canola crop plots in the province by The Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

“The CFIA has taken action to limit any spread of this pest beyond its current location by prohibiting the movement of host material and agricultural equipment used in the trial plot,” Elena Koutsavakis, a CFIA spokeswoman wrote in an email from Ottawa Thursday. Canola is a multibillion dollar industry in Canada, with growers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, B.C., Ontario and Quebec and an estimated $19 billion in contributions to the economy in 2013. The Canadian Press



Final 2014 Crop Report Shows Record Corn and Soybean Harvest

New records for corn and soybean were set last year reaching the largest crops ever due to cool summer temperatures providing favorable conditions for the plants. The abundance in plants has kept commodity prices lower. Farmers recorded 14.2 billion bushels of corn, at 3% more than in 2013. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported the average bushel-per-acre yield at 171, an increase from the 2013 bushel-per-acre yield of 158. Despite about 5% fewer acres harvested than in 2013, farmers still reached the record crop. The record yields were estimated in 21 states. Associated Press



Early research suggests palm polyphenols may lower diabetes symptoms

New research on palm polyphenols is being done to study the effect on diabetes and the results have been promising so far. The first study, conducted by Professor KC Hayes, leading Brandeis University researcher, suggest palm’s polyphenols may deter diabetes or reverse its advancement. Other various studies suggest palm polyphenols may slow the rate of blood sugar absorption or have an effect on insulin, all aiding in positive effects on diabetes. A clinical study beginning in Malaysia will study the effect of palm polyphenols supplementation on pre-diabetes. Malaysian palm oil is a rich source of polyphenols, which includes both carotenes and

tocotrienols. Palm Oil Health



Record Soybean Production Increased, Exports Keep Pace

Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA), Grant Kimberly, considered soybeans to be neutral in the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final 2014 Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports. “We have off-the-chart record production in the U.S. and good global supplies, but there’s also great demand,” said Kimberley, who also farms in central Iowa. “There’s a strong appetite for soybeans and it continues to grow.” The nation’s soybean harvest estimates are at 3.97 billion bushels, an 11 million bushel increase from November estimates. This estimate is also 18 percent higher than last year. The average yield estimate is 47.8 bushels per acre, an increase of 0.3 bushels from last month. U.S farmer’s soybean harvest reached 83.1 million acres, at 9% more than 2013. SeedQuest


End-use customers demand change in oil – Soybean farmers can meet demand and capitalize on opportunities

New soybean varieties, high oleic, may help farmers to meet customer’s needs based on the reduction or elimination of trans-fats. Trans-fat labeling did negatively affect the soybean oil industry in recent years, but high oleic soybeans may provide a chance to reclaim demands. “With this new technology, high oleic soybeans will have a lot of possibilities and attract some of those customers back,” says farmer Larry Marek, an Iowa soybean farmer and a director on the United Soybean Board. SeedQuest