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Know Before You Grow

Posted on September 23, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn

Harvest is nearly underway. Approximately 42 percent of all U.S. corn grown is fed to domestic livestock, leaving 58 percent for ethanol, exports and corn processing for food and industrial uses.

Bob Bowman, chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and a farmer from DeWitt, reminds farmers to know and understand all of their seed choices and what markets they’re accepted in. “You can hurt your own operation, your neighbor’s and the entire U.S. industry by not following proper protocol.”

Iowa Corn recommends farmers educate themselves to see if the biotech seeds they harvest are approved in key U.S. export markets. With international markets for corn and corn-products (Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles) evolving, a full knowledge of biotech traits is vital for farmers. Trait approval around the world isn’t synchronous, which adds to the complication.

Introduced by Syngenta in 2014, Agrisure Durcade™ is an example of a trait not approved by the European Union or Chinese markets. Iowa Corn firmly supports compliance with the regulations on biotechnology in place throughout major U.S. corn export markets. Iowa Corn urges farmers, handlers and exporters to strictly adhere to the stewardship program for the Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade to minimize the risk of export trade disruption.


“It’s important for all sectors of the value chain – farmers, technology providers, first purchasers and exporters – to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions,” said Bowman. “If you planted Agrisure Duracade, talk with your Syngenta sales rep and first purchaser  for a delivery plan upon harvest, if you haven’t done this already. It is crucial to protect international markets by following the stewardship plan in place.”

Syngenta has entered into a partnership with Gavilon to pick up and purchase – at fair market value – any Agrisure Duracade corn for which an alternative approved buyer is not found.

 Iowa Corn urges all stakeholders to weigh the consequences of their actions, recognize the international implications of planting and marketing decisions, and stringently adhere to their stewardship responsibilities. We encourage working toward a resolution of the low-level presence and asynchronous approval issues. That resolution will ensure the protection of common interests of producers, agribusinesses and consumers around the world.

Farmers looking for additional information about stewardship can access the National Corn Growers Association's “Know Before You Grow” resources that keep everyone on the same page about national and international issues related to biotechnology.

For more information, visit iowacorn.org/kbyg

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