In recent months China has been rejecting loads of corn from the United States that contain the trait MIR 162 from Syngenta. US Grains Council board member and Indiana farmer David Howell says there’s concern about the rejections and now that is compounded by the entrance of Syngenta’s AgriSure Duracade into the market.
Howell tells Brownfield while growers and grower organizations want the technology, they have to be able to sell the product, the corn, globally. “How we deal with the growers that are going to take on the new Duracade event from Syngenta and how we’re going to steward it and help people realize the importance of being extremely careful if they’re going to plant it so that it doesn’t contaminate our exportable grain,” he says.
The ag industry, Howell says, is trying to help farmers find a market for grain containing the Duracade trait. “Syngenta has their stewardship plan,” he says. “The grain that is derived from this Duracade seed is to go to either livestock facilities to be consumed or to Gavilon. Which entered into a contract to purchase the grain that can’t be fed locally.”
While it is good to have these plans are in place, Howell says there is a lot of room for human error and all parties involved need to exercise extreme caution when handling the grain to ensure the traits not yet approved in China aren’t mixed with grain for export.