Following shipping disruptions in China, the National Corn Growers Association on Wednesday asked association members to examine approved traits in export markets prior to making 2014 planting decisions.
The group said that with current gaps in trait approvals abroad, farmers should make well-informed planting decisions to avoid potentially difficult situations should elevators again decide not to accept corn with these traits at harvest.
In response, NCGA is offering Know Before You Grow, an online resource with information on the approval status of all major corn traits in export markets, to help farmers searching tools to aid them in their decision-making process. Hosted on NCGA's website, the group says it provides vital information in an easily accessible format.
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According to an NCGA statement:
"NCGA reminds growers that corn used in ethanol production also often enters export streams as distillers dried grains, a valuable feed ingredient gaining popularity in China and other export markets. While planting decisions involve a multitude of factors, it is import to factor in potential issues which could be faced marketing grain unapproved for markets supplied through elevators with which one does business.
"Know Before You Grow stems from NCGA's firm commitment to the principle that U.S.-grown biotech hybrids not intended for some export markets should not be placed into export channels. 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.
"Additionally, the Biotechnology Industry Organization hosts a comprehensive global approval status database found at www.biotradestatus.com.
"Growers should read their grower agreements before planting and communicate with their grain buyers. This is why NCGA works with technology providers to publicize regular updates on the approval status of these events. Regardless of export status, there is an ample market for U.S. biotech corn," the statement said.