18 February 2002
GM CORN - MULTIPLE PROBLEMS
"This analysis indicates that likely price reduction in traditional feed ingredients will drive most of the current genetic modifications of corn out of the feed markets." (item 1)
1. GM corn too expensive to last due to yield drag and seed costs
2. Bt corns value coming under question
3. U.S. seed imports to Russia complicated by GMOs
1. GM corn too expensive to last due to yield drag
and seed costs
Agribusiness Winter 2002 SECTION: Vol. 18, No. 1
Impacts of six genetic modifications of corn on feed cost and consumption of traditional feed ingredients
ABSTRACT: This study evaluates the impact of 6 genetically modified corns on swine and poultry feed costs and on the use of traditional feed ingredients. A Brill linear programming model was used to calculate least-cost feed rations for broilers, layers, tom turkeys, 8-13 pound pigs and finisher hogs. This analysis indicates that likely price reduction in traditional feed ingredients will drive most of the current genetic modifications of corn out of the feed markets. Alternative methods of making genetically modified corns more competitive in the marketplace include stacking modifications to increase the gross value per bushel and lowering the costs of modified corn by reducing yield drag and seed costs.
2. Bt corn's value coming under question
United Press International February 15, 2002, Friday
CHICAGO - More and more farmers are questioning the value of Bt corn. Several researchers have been looking into the declining use of the genetically modified seed.
Terry Hurley, farm management economist at the University of Minnesota, thinks the reason is corn borer populations have been very low in Minnesota and Iowa since 1998.
Research by Hurley and co-workers at Texas A&M and Iowa State universities have shown planting Bt corn has a value of about $16 per acre. After deducting the $10 an acre technology fee, that leaves a $6 per acre profit. But if there are no corn borers around, there are no benefits from growing Bt corn. "The question that remains unanswered is whether Bt corn has changed historical trends," he said.
"If half of the corn is Bt every year, that means 50 percent fewer borers in the next generation. And if you do that for a few years, borer populations become very small in a hurry."
Fred Buttel, a rural sociologist who heads agricultural technology studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, has come to the same sort of conclusion. He says that in 1990, 20.7 percent of Wisconsin corn growers planted Bt corn. That was down to 16.9 percent last year.
Buttel says there are three reasons to use Bt seed. They are increased
yield [!!], better insect control and reduced insecticide use. He says
7 out of 10 Wisconsin growers reported better pest control, but only 37
percent said they applied less insecticide.
3. U.S. seed imports to Russia complicated by limitations on imports of GMOs.
OTC 02/15 1609 ODJ
Ag Attache: Russian Federation Planting Seeds ...
[extract] Russian importers are most interested in varieties that are tolerant of cold conditions, produce high yields and can mature quickly in Russia's short growing season. Varieties that can mature in 80-90 days are prized. Importers state that the best opportunities are for US exports of sunflower and corn seed with short vegetation periods, some vegetable seed, and seeds of feed grasses such as alfalfa. However, selling U.S. corn varieties is currently complicated because of limitations on imports of GMOs.
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