Archived Posts

News Flash: April 2, 2015



EDITORIAL: We don’t need labels on genetically modified foods

The Pew Research Centers January poll shows 88-percent of scientists say genetically modified food is generally safe to eat, while 37-percent of the general public shared this same view. Mandated labeling would likely discourage the purchase of genetically modified (GM) food while evidence says otherwise. Congress continues to move towards a policy that allows companies to label products as free of GM ingredients, but prevents states from requiring these labels. Washington Post


Boaters push Senate bill removing corn-ethanol mandate

A U.S. Senate bill which intends to do away with the law requiring ethanol produced corn to be sold to American consumers now has the support of BoatUS, the nation’s largest boating advocacy group. The bill has been introduced by Sens. Diane Feinstein. BoatUS is encouraging its members, about a half a million, to contact their senators in regard to the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015. The Wichita Eagle



Do Biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?

A recent study in the Journal Science discovered that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to produce greenhouse gas savings. “Without reduced food consumption, each of the models would estimate that biofuels generate more emissions than gasoline,” said Timothy Searchinger, first author on the paper and a research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. Eurekalert


Agricultural waste could be used as biofuel

A new study pinpoints five different strains of yeast which are capable of turning agricultural by-products into bioethanol, an alcohol-based biofuel. Examples of these by-products include straw, sawdust, and corncobs. It is estimated that over 400 billion liters of bioethanol could be produced each year from crop waste. Researchers say that findings could help create more environmentally friendly, as well as ethically sound, biofuel by making use of waste products. Eurekalert



Canola rotations are key

Crop rotation is a very important component in order to manage residue, soil-borne diseases, as well as many insect species, according to Randy Kutcher, cereal and flax pathologist, University of Saskatchewan. Many growers still do not follow recommended rotations, even with the potential to increase the likelihood of devastating diseases, such as blackleg. Blackleg is a residue-borne disease, says Kutcher. “Residues can be found on the lower stem and upper root pieces of previous canola crops,” he says. “And these can take a number of years to break down under prairie conditions.” Grain News


North American grain/oilseeds review: canola strengthens with weak C$

The ICE Futures Canada canola market finished stronger on Monday, without much struggle from the late day sell-off seen in the Chicago soybean complex. The decline of the Canadian dollar value resulted in a more attractive view of canola in the international market, according to traders. The underpinned values are a result of the steady commercial demand, along with the need to keep weather premiums built into prices ahead of Western Canada’s spring seeding. Monday’s advances were seen as a good selling opportunity, while the market’s technical bias is decreasing, according to analysts. Country Guide



Soybeans and Corn Locked in Food Fight

U.S. farmers are increasingly steering clear from corn in favor of planting soybeans. This dramatic shift is changing Futures markets and the broader agricultural economy. Analysts predict farmers to plant a record acreage this spring for the second year in a row, while cutting corn plantings. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will forecast corn and soybean plantings in a key report Tuesday, based on farmer surveys. According to a Wall Street Journal survey, on average, soybean acreage is expected to increase by 3% from last year, at 85.9 million acres, with corn falling 2%, at 88.7 million acres. Wall Street Journal


Intensified corn research results in high yields for NK corn from Syngenta 

Corn growers increased access to genetics and traits is contributing to record-breaking yields. The innovative technology behind NK® Corn Hybrids from Syngenta has helped growers reach an average of 2.4 bushels-per-acre performance. The Y.E.S (Yield Engineering System™) uses advanced technology to speed up the breeding cycle and increase genetic yield gain. Higher-yielding NK Corn hybrids are developed through this system. Seedquest



Indonesian palm oil stocks set for record highs

U.S. officials expect Indonesian palm oils stocks to reach record highs, even with skepticism over boosted biodiesel plant demand and the pressure on vegetable oil prices. Palm oil inventories in Indonesia are expected to jump 63-percent over 2015-2016, starting in October, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s bureau in Jakarta. Growth is predicted to continue, increasing by 2.0m tonnes and reaching a record of 35.0m tonnes. Agrimoney



Soybeans cut swath through Western Canada wheat belt

Soybeans are expected to reach record acreage again this year and many of the world’s biggest seed companies are predicting further growing room. Farmers on the eastern side are looking to soybeans to gain higher returns while shorter-season varieties make soybeans possible in Western Canada and across northern U.S. states. Monsanto predicts Canadian farmers to increase to 5.8 acres this year. U.S. farmers are also expected to increase soybean plantings for 2015. Reuters


USA – GMO labeling bill would provide clarity with a national non-GMO label, says American Soybean Association

The American Soybean Association (ASA) issued its support yesterday for a bill that would require a national labeling standard for non- GMO foods. Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas and G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina brought forward the bill. The intentions may conflict with several state laws and regulations which govern the labeling of both GMO and non-GMO foods, along with the many private sector non-GMO labeling standards, but would establish common groundwork for labeling at the national level. SeedQuest