A database maintained by the National Corn Growers Association aims to improve farmers' knowledge about the approval status of U.S.-grown corn hybrids in certain export markets.
The "Know Before You Grow" database has been recently updated to provide a more complete look at export information on the NCGA website.
U.S.-grown biotech hybrids not intended for some export markets should not be placed into export channels, NCGA says, because not all hybrids are approved for all export market uses.
Corn growers who are selling into sensitive markets like wet millers should select hybrids with the full knowledge of whether they are conventional, fully approved for export to major markets or not yet fully approved for those markets.
NCGA points out the 2005 EU announcement that a number of hybrids had been approved for use in production of processed feeds (corn gluten feed and DDGS), but some hybrids remain available in the U.S. market that cannot be used by domestic processors for production of processed feeds and food exported to the EU. Growers planting one of those hybrids awaiting full EU approval must talk with their grain handler before harvest and delivery.
If a farmer selects hybrids not fully approved for EU export, NCGA recommends funneling the grain into one of three markets: home livestock rations, domestic livestock feeding channels or elevators accepting grain not yet fully approved for EU export.
NCGA says growers should also read their grower agreements before planting and communicate with their grain buyers.
"It's important for farmers and others to know where they can find good markets for their corn," said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. "Each year, we update our database so growers can stay informed and plan ahead. It's also a valuable tool for others who want or need to track which markets are accepting a certain corn hybrid."
The Know Before You Grow database is generated by distributing surveys to seed companies throughout the country, and provides a list of hybrids approved for all feed and fuel uses in the U.S.
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