Archived Posts

News Flash: June 11, 2015


Intercropped winter oilseeds could benefit environment, profits

Scientists in west-central Minnesota are studying to find out if winter oilseeds could be intercropped with soybeans and other crops to provide environmental benefits for soil and honeybees, while also serving as a cash crop to produce food grade oil and jet fuel. Research Physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Russ Gesch, has focused his research primarily on integrating both new and alternative oilseed crops into cropping systems that include traditional commodity crops. Gesch is also looking into the physiology of the crops, specifically environmental limitations to their growth and production. Grand Forks Herald

FDA Publishes Draft Guidance for Expedited Importer Program

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) includes a component working to develop a program to expedite food imports to the U.S. from importers with a proven track record for food safety. FDA has recently published draft guidance for industry explaining how the new fee-based Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) will work. The document outlines the benefits of the program, eligibility criteria, instructions for obtaining certifications and completing an application, user fees, causes for revoke, and how to be reinstated into the program. Food Safety News


USA – Weekly Outlook: Assessing corn demand for domestic ethanol blending       

The consumption of U.S. corn for ethanol and co-product production increased from about 2.119 billion bushels in the 2006-2007 corn marketing year to 5.019 billion bushels during the 2010-2011 marketing year. The consumption then declined to 4.641 billion bushels in 2012-2013 and is expected to reach 5.2 bushels during the current marketing year. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, the majority of corn consumption for ethanol is driven almost entirely by ethanol demand. The EPA’s May announcement of proposed Renewable Fuels Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 will provide an opportunity to reassess the demand for U.S. corn for domestic ethanol blending. SeedQuest


Canola Council of Canada supports Senate Committee report on bee health

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC), an active stakeholder in the promotion of bee health, reports to its appreciation of the report by the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, that was released on Wednesday. The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada highlights the multiple factors affecting bee health and the importance of affected stakeholders working together. The report also recommends that pesticides continue to be regulated based on scientific evidence. “It’s good to see the Committee recognize the importance of all stakeholders working together to promote bee health,” says Dr. Curtis Rempel, vice president of crop production and innovation with the CCC who testified for the Committee’s study. SeedQuest


USDA crop progress report: U.S. corn emergence 91%

Corn emergence was 91% as of Sunday reaching one point ahead of last year and its five-year average. According to the latest USDA weekly crop progress report, the crop also went unchanged from last week with its 74% rating on a scale of good to excellent. In Iowa, the top corn producer, 96% of corn was emerged and improved 82% from 80% a week ago. Illinois corn decreased 1% to 78%, while Indiana also decreased 4% or 75% last week. USDA discontinued planting progress for the season. Farm Futures


Could Europe’s drive to segregated palm oil exclude small producers?

According to Bob Norman, GreenPalm Manager, a European push toward segregated certified sustainable palm oil may inadvertently exclude smaller producers from the supply chain. RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil currently accounts for about 20% of the global palm oil supply, but demand is still working to catch up with supply. Small holders contribute about 30-40% of global production and 70% in other regions, including Thailand and Latin America. Norman points out that GreenPalm certificates still play a role in driving the supply chain towards sustainable production. Food Navigator


ICAR developing new non-GM soybean genotypes high in oleic acid

The Directorate of Soybean Research (DSR) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is developing new genotypes which could potentially yield high oleic acid and high oil content in soybean crops. DSR Scientists are hoping to reach up to 55% oleic acid content in this new genotype. DSR developed a licensed genotype a few years ago that had 42% oleic acid with a yield potential of more than three tonne per hectare and a maturity period of 95-98 days. The widely sown regular varieties of soybean cultivation currently possess 19-25% oleic acisd and yield around two tonne per hectare, with the crop maturing in 100-105 days. Business Standard