Archived Posts

News Flash: May 28, 2015


White House Releases Spring 2015 Regulatory Plan

The White House recently released its “Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” for spring 2015, with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules as a priority. Rules regarding preventive controls, produce safety, foreign supplier verification, and the Veterinary Feed Directive are just some of the finalizations included on the agenda. Food Safety News


China Does an About-Face on GMOs

The Chinese accept imports of GMO-derived soybeans and corn as livestock feed, but GMO-based food is banned excluding cooking oil and papayas. China has begun to embrace GMO techniques with biotechnology research and a pro-GMO advertisement campaign beginning in September 2014. “Biotechnology is our investment for the future,” says Origin Chairman Han Gengchen. He expects the government to allow planting of GMO corn within three years. China hopes to see an improvement in farm productivity with genetic modifications to help with contaminated water, damaged soil, and the overuse of fertilizer. Global seed companies look to China, with its large food importer clout, for approval before releasing new products. Bloomberg Business



EPA to release biofuels proposal by June 1

The nation’s complex renewable fuels policy is set to soon be affirmed. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release its proposals for the amount of ethanol, biofuel, and cellulosic fuels by June 1 that must be mixed into motor fuel for 2014, 2015 and 2016. These targets have been delayed over a year and a half. Lobbyists and industry groups say the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard is at stake. EPA’s proposals for corn-based ethanol producers will tell whether oil will win the market share or whether the political side will turn in ethanol’s favor despite car manufacturers and other opposing industries. Tribune-Review



Interest in canola increasing in Kentucky

Kentucky’s first crushing facility began this past December and has increased interest in canola among farmers. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment specialist is working with farmers and consultants to make sure Kentucky farmers increases in production remain agronomical and economically beneficial. “Canola is a really good option for a producer to diversify their operation in terms of economics, and there are some known agronomic benefits to growing canola,” said Carrie Knott, UK grain crops extension specialist. “Several years ago, research in Kentucky showed yields of double crop soybeans increase when they follow canola compared to following wheat.” SeedQuest



Montana Department of Agriculture publishes a proposed corn check-off referendum to develop a research and market development program for corn production in Montana

As requested by the Corn Advisory Committee, The Montana Department of Agriculture has proposed a corn check-off poll to develop a research and market development program for Montana’s corn production. The referendum has been mailed and published. The Corn Advisory Committee has identified difficulties in retrieving third-party analysis on production characteristics pertaining to commercial corn hybrids grown in Montana. At the committees March meeting, input from growers, producers, and purchasers led the committee to vote to hold a referendum of those growers and producers that are affected. Seed Quest



Indian edible oil industry tries to increase oil palm plantation in North East India

The edible oil industry in India continues to explore the cultivation of palm oil in the Northeast. The industry has sought transport and plantation material subsidies to boost cultivation in this area. A team under the leadership of Dr. Anupam Barik, Additional Commissioner Oilseeds, visited Northeast states during the beginning of May for evaluation of the scope of palm oil cultivation. Economic Times



Argentina’s soy market paralyzed by oilseed crushers union three weeks strike

A strike by the Industrial Oilseed Complex Workers Federation in the southern districts of Rosario has slowed loading processes in the middle of exporter’s harvest season.

Overall, the federation counts for 20% of grain crushers. “The message coming informally from exporters is that purchases will be minimal until the government takes real action on the topic of the crushers’ strikes,” a grains broker who deals daily with export firms said. Crushers in the northern district of San Lorenzo carry on working. Grain companies have been directly affected by the strike, while exports remain unaffected so far. Merco Press