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NIOP: News Flash February 25, 2016


South Africa to ease some GM crop rules to avert food crisis
South Africa will relax some of its tough rules on genetically modified crops so it can ramp up maize imports from the United States and Mexico to avert a potential food crisis amid a severe drought, officials said. Almost 90 percent of maize in South Africa is genetically modified and the country bans commodities with strains not approved by the government and does not allow imports to be stored, stipulating they must be transported immediately from ports to mills. Reuters


Segment shift in edible oil sales
Faced with tremendous margin pressure, edible oil producers have shifted from selling loose oil in container form to value-added and branded products. The switchover has rescued many small and regional entities from threatened closure and helped large entities such as Ruchi Soya Industries, Adani Wilmar and Cargill to fetch premiums of up to 30 per cent over loose oil in bulk containers. Business Standard


Canola Beats Soybean as Protein Source for Dairy Cattle
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Wisconsin are helping dairy farmers weigh the merits of protein supplements available for their cattle. When it comes to protein supplements, dairy producers have two options: soybean meal and canola meal. Canola meal is a relatively new option—production increased rapidly in the 1990s as a cold-tolerant crop, but it was initially raised primarily for its seed oil. “Canola only recently caught on as a protein source for cattle when new varieties were developed,” says Glen A. Broderick, a former ARS dairy scientist with the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin. USDA: ARS


Iowa Corn takes ‘multifaceted’ approach to product promotion
There is more of a focus on grassroots activity in the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “Agriculture needs a lot of voices,” says Chris Edgington, a farmer in Mitchell County and chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa’s corn checkoff organization. The group has district advisory groups and more members involved in various state committees after making some changes a few years ago. Iowa Farmer Today


Russia moves to raise taxes on palm oil
Russia plans to introduce a 30% excise tax on palm oil in the summer of 2016. Palm oil is used by manufacturers of cheese to replace produce that used to come from the European Union and as a result, the quality of these cheeses has declined sharply. Russia & India Report


Russia faces GM crop tangle, after banning imports of US soy
Moscow’s ban on imports of US soybeans could have set Russia up for a tangle over genetically-modified crops if it is to gain enough oilseeds for its burgeoning livestock industry – at least, according to US officials. While Russia in 2014 banned a swathe of agricultural imports from the US and many other countries, in tit-for-tat sanctions stemming from Western concerns over the Ukraine war, soybeans were – until this month – exempted from the curbs – and indeed reached a 45-year high last year. Agri-Money