- Stu Ellis reports on Herald-Review.com that “speed is picking up on a class-action lawsuit against global seed company Syngenta” as the multiple suits across the Corn Belt are being merged into one lawsuit to be handled by a federal court in Kansas. Farmers and grain elevators contend that Syngenta’s premature release of its Viptera corn variety cost the U.S. corn market between $1 and $3 billion due to Chinese rejections of shipments containing the unapproved variety. The argument is that Syngenta had an obligation to wait for China, a major importer, to approve the variety before releasing it to farmers, and that Syngenta also failed to inform farmers that their crops might be rejected in export markets. The lawsuit additionally contends that Syngenta delayed the release of its new Duracade variety in Canada due to the lack of Chinese approval, but continued with its scheduled release in the U.S. even rejections of Viptera corn were on-going and after the requests of several U.S. farm groups to delay the Duracade release.
- GeneticLiteracyProject.org offers a report from Stephen Chen of the South China Morning Post noting that the Chinese government has renewed permits to continue research on a high yield GMO corn variety despite public concerns over the safety of GMO foods. The permits had expired 3 months ago, causing concerns among scientists that the research would be discontinued, but have been renewed to allow open field testing for the next 5 years.
- A release from Bayer CropScience on AgProfessional.com reports that low corn prices mean growers should consider alternate options to growing continuous corn in 2015, as continuous corn fields require extra management and in some cases increased expenses to achieve relative yields to rotated fields. For growers still interested in a continuous corn program this year, Bayer offers considerations and advice for minimizing risks and achieving maximum yields this season.
- TheCropSite.com reports that the EPA has approved a new soybean seed treatment for Sudden Death Syndrome and Soybean Cyst Nematodes. ILeVO, developed by Bayer CropScience, is the first seed treatment to help protect against SDS, with the added benefit of helping defend against the nematodes that help promote the disease. Soybean Cyst Nematodes and Sudden Death Syndrome are 2 of the top 5 yield robbers for soybeans in the U.S., and ILeVO offers a powerful tool to aid in integrated management systems to combat these pests.
- Johnny Morgan of the LSU AgCenter reports on TheNewsStar.com that an LSU plant breeder, Blair Buckley, is on the quest to create the “perfect soybean.” While such a goal may be impossible, the journey is sure to offer benefits to Louisiana soybean growers, with several helpful varieties already in the works. Development is currently progressing on potential varieties which would be resistant to Cercospora blight, a fungus based disease that has proven problematic for Louisiana growers due to the inefficacy of fungicide treatments. “While not symptom-free, the varieties display symptoms that have been less severe and have come later in the growing season, thereby lessening potential yield loss.” Buckley is also looking into the development of varieties more tolerant of drought and soil salinity, as changing climate conditions could make these very important in the future.