Archived Posts

News Flash: January 29, 2015


‘Safer GMOs’ made by US scientists

US scientists believe they have taken new strides towards safer GMOs using synthetic biology that cannot spread in the wild. They have changed the genetic code of bacteria, in order to use only synthetic chemical, forcing the GM bacteria to die if it escaped into nature. This research was published in Nature and provides proof of a concept for a new generation of GMOs, including plants, according to Harvard and Yale University experts. Genetically engineered micro-organisms are used to produce drugs or fuels under controlled conditions in the Europe, the US, and China. BBC



Eight under $70: which biofuels ventures can beat out cheap oil?

Oil prices continue to be volatile, at $106 in June and $50 today. The Digest investigated which biofuel ventures have the pro-formas to be profitable in a tough market. A list is included which points out seven or more companies that have pro-formas showing biofuels remaining competitive with $70 oil. The list included with this article can be seen as a preview of coming attractions. Biofuels Digest



Council explores risk reduction by seeking new canola buyers

The Canola Council of Canada wishes to decrease its large reliance on four key export customers. 90% of the country’s seed, oil and meal is exported, with 93% shipped to the US, China, Japan, and Mexico. The council aims to reduce the reliance to 80% by 2025. “We’ve got a lot of eggs in one basket,” Bruce Jowett, the council’s vice-president of market development, told CropSphere 2015. Jowett finds it risky to have the majority of business falling on just four countries, specifically in the event of a market access issue.

The Western Producer



USA – National Corn Growers Association applauds USDA deregulation of dicamba-tolerant traits in soybeans and cotton, urges EPA action

The National Corn Growers Association thanked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its deregulation of dicamba-tolerant traits in both soybeans and cotton. The approval followed the environmental impact study and will provide growers with access to another tool to combat weed resistance. “With farmers seeing instances of glyphosate-resistant weeds more commonly, the approval of this fourth herbicide tolerant system will be critical for grower success,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder. “By better dealing with instances of weed resistance, farmers not only increase yields but also improve agricultural sustainability.” SeedQuest



Palm Oil Giant Lists Suppliers Online

The world’s largest palm oil trader, Wilmar International, has become the first industry player to offer viewing of its palm-oil supply chain online. The company took this step in hopes of helping to achieve its goal of exclusion of deforestation and exploitation from its procedures. Wilmar’s chief sustainability officer, Jeremy Goon, said the company has mapped out its supply chain and listed all its palm oil mill suppliers in Indonesia and Malaysia on a dashboard website, developed in collaboration with The Forest Trust. The company will also report on its sustainability performance online. Environmental Leader


Malaysia to Intensify Its Palm Oil Industry by 2020

The government is strengthening its efforts concerning the gross national income contribution for the palm oil industry of RM178 billion by 2020. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said that the ministry is reviewing the initiatives under the Entry Point Projects while the government continues to introduce measures to assist the oil palm upstream and downstream sectors. Datuk Hammit Singh made this speech at the 2015 Palm Oil Economic Review and Outlook Seminar. A lab has been designated to review this process and identify new EPP’s in hopes of developing new initiatives. The implementation of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Scheme is expected to increase positive views surrounding palm oil, leading to advancement of imports to countries requiring this certification. SoyaTech



Kan. soybean yield contest topped by 99.8-bushels

The best farming practices, wisely selected seed stock varieties, and favorable growing conditions all contributed to the achievement of high soybean yields and value for Kansas farmers in 2014.“The annual Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests recognize outstanding Kansas farmers and provide fun incentives for them to improve,” said Doug Shoup, Chanute, K-State Research and Extension southeast area agronomist, who began coordinating the contests this year. “They also allow the Kansas Soybean Association, with check off funding from the Kansas Soybean Commission, to share what participants learned to benefit all Kansas soybean farmers.” Farm Talk Newspaper