The Indiana Corn Marketing Council encourages Hoosier farmers to strictly adhere to the aggressive stewardship program in place for the release of Syngenta seed trait Agrisure Duracade if they choose to utilize this trait for the 2014 growing season. Following these guidelines is vital to minimize the risk of trade disruption and negative impacts on the 2014 corn crop market price.
Although the use of Agrisure Duracade has been approved in the United States, it has not yet been approved for use in either the European Union or China. If Agrisure Duracade were to inadvertently leak into export channels, U.S. grain shipments to these key markets risk rejection. Additionally, these markets could be potentially closed to U.S. exports until regulatory approval is received.
“Hoosier farmers’ close proximity to the Ohio River – a major trade artery to foreign markets – requires that we maintain the integrity of our trade channels,” said Dennis Maple, ICMC president and farmer from Greentown, Ind. “We understand that producers want to take advantage of new technologies as soon as they become available, but we also need to understand the responsibilities and risk factors associated with using a technology that has not yet received global approval.”
According to the U.S. Grains Council, the unfortunate reality is that biotechnology approval systems around the world today are not synchronous. Additionally, some countries still lack effective, trade-enabling policies regarding the low level presence (LLP) of unapproved biotech events in grain shipments. Inadvertent commingling is a tremendous risk, and modern testing methods are likely to detect even trace levels of unapproved events.
“The presence of unapproved events in the export stream therefore carries a significant risk of major international trade disruptions,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. “Given the increase in corn production in competitor countries and the ability of buyers to source anywhere in the world, leakage of unapproved events may even result in the closure of some major markets to U.S. corn exports for an indefinite period.”
Syngenta has initiated Agrisure Duracade’s introductory launch for the 2014 growing season and will be working with growers on identifying marketing options. Farmers are urged to ensure this grain is delivered only to approved-end user. Syngenta is partnering with Gavilon to pick up and purchase at fair market value any Agrisure Duracade corn for which an approved buyer cannot be found.
“Our producers and grain handlers need to keep in mind that the first purchasers of their corn crop are not necessarily the end users. In fact, 40 percent of Indiana’s corn crop is eventually shipped out of state to many different destinations, including foreign markets,” said Rosalind Leeck, ICMC grain marketing director.
ICMC encourages Hoosier farmers to evaluate the consequences of their choices and actions, keeping in mind that the consequences of those decisions may be far-reaching – even global. It is important for all sectors of the value chain – individual farmers, technology providers, shippers and exporters alike – to recognize the potentially significant international implications of their actions. Growers are encouraged to discuss options with their tech provider and first purchaser to fully understand the responsibilities that come with planting unapproved traits.
“New technologies are key to U.S. farmers maintaining a leadership role in meeting the global food demand,” said Maple. “However, as these new technologies are in the process of development and implementation, we need to be aggressive in following the established stewardship guidelines to help prevent any potential trade disruption and ensure the integrity of our markets.”