Syngenta defends Viptera decisions

An official of Syngenta is defending the company’s 2010 decision to release the MIR 162 corn trait, known as Agrisure Viptera, even though it had not received import approval from China. Chuck Lee, head of Syngenta’s corn sector, points out that China imported corn containing the Viptera trait for two years before it began rejecting… Read more »

Some progress in TPP negotiations

Officials report some progress was made in recent negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  But they say there are still significant areas of disagreement, including the United States’ insistence that Japan lower its barriers to agricultural imports. Following a recent TPP negotiating session in Australia, Japan’s economic minister said that while there is “no prospect… Read more »

Vilsack: No COOL appeal until 2015

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says if the U.S. appeals the recent WTO ruling on Country of Origin Labeling, it won’t be filed until after the first of the year. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is in the process of considering an appeal. Meanwhile, Vilsack says the USDA will try to find a compromise for COOL…. Read more »

Mexico & U.S. deal on sugar dispute

Mexico and the U.S. have reached a deal to avoid the potential for steep duties on Mexican sugar imports to the U.S. Mexico is one of the largest suppliers of sugar to the United States which cannot meet the demand on its own. In March, the American Sugar Alliance filed a claim with the U.S…. Read more »

An opportunity to build relationships

A delegation of Taiwanese grain buyers have been in Indiana getting a first-hand look at agriculture.  Over the weekend they visited Indiana Corn Marketing Council President Dennis Maple’s farm in Greentown.  He says these visits benefit Indiana agriculture.  “It’s really important for them to see how good the crop is and how big the crop… Read more »

Taiwanese trade team visits Indiana

Representatives of the Taiwan grain industry are in Indiana this week to see Indiana agriculture first hand.  Willis Cheng, a member of the trade team, tells Brownfield Taiwan imports nearly 100 percent of their corn and soybeans and says the visit allows the delegation to better understand their supplier.  “Indiana is a very important agriculture… Read more »

NCBA says COOL has to go

Following the latest rebuke by the WTO of the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is renewing its call for COOL to be repealed. “We have looked at this every way we possibly can and there is no change that the Secretary of Agriculture can make that would… Read more »

COOL Reform Coalition urges compliance first

A coalition of U.S. business groups wants Congress to intervene now that the World Trade Organization has ruled that the USDA’s remedy for Country of Origin Labeling is lacking. Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, one of the coalition groups, says without intervening, the standing of the U.S. in… Read more »

Grassley says Congress needs to revisit COOL

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Congress needs to “go back to the drawing board” on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Grassley was reacting to the WTO’s ruling that USDA’s revised COOL rule unfairly discriminates against Canada and Mexico. The National Farmers Union doesn’t want Congress to tamper with the COOL law. The group argues that… Read more »

New tool measures crop yield gaps worldwide

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s largest gap in farm yields—70 to 90 percent below their potential—according to a new research tool unveiled at the Global Water for Food Conference in Seattle. The new web-based platform is called the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas.  According to Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the international agricultural research… Read more »