Web links biotech corn growers to elevators

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Farmers harvesting biotech corn hybrids this fall need to know which elevators are buying what they’re selling.

A new Web site developed in cooperation with Purdue University helps producers find markets for transgenic grain.

Log on. The Market Choices home page – located at www.marketchoices.info – provides information and resources for farmers with biotech corn, as well as elevators that purchase the grain, said Dirk Maier, a Purdue Cooperative Extension Service agricultural engineer.

Where farmers sell insect and herbicide-resistant transgenic corn is important because some of the hybrids are not accepted in all countries, Maier said.

“Market Choices corn hybrids are hybrids that are approved for food and feed use in the United States, Canada and Japan but are not approved in the European Union,” he said.

“These hybrids need to be marketed to buyers who will not ship this grain, or processed products from this grain, into the European market.

“Producers growing these hybrids need to be reminded that in the spring when they purchased their seed, they signed an agreement that they would only market that product to grain buyers that will accept these types of hybrids.

“By following through with that commitment, we will be able to keep these hybrids out of commercial chains that primarily supply some of our processors within the state who do not want these Market Choices products delivered to their plants.”

Good resource. The Web site includes a link to a database of elevators that accept biotech hybrids. The “Grain Handler’s Database” is maintained by the American Seed Trade Association, a cooperating partner in Market Choices.

Producers and agribusiness people visiting the site also can download a “Know Where to Go” poster. The poster serves to encourage farmers to do their homework before marketing their biotech grain.

Details. “The good news is that there are literally thousands of elevators across the Midwest that accept these products without any problems whatsoever,” he said.

“The only detail that we need to pay attention to is that this grain doesn’t end up in some of our dry corn milling, masa milling or wet corn milling facilities that cater either to some of the food markets or, particularly, the European market.”

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