July 5, 2015

Be Aware Of Restrictions On Seed Coming Off Patent

The first generation of genetically engineered seeds already have or will be coming off patent in the near future.  Some growers may be looking to profit off that expiration but not so fast, says Paul Goeringer, extension agent with the University of Maryland:

Goeringer 1

In this case, even keeping the seed back for your own use may be difficult Goerhinger says:

Goeringer 2

Producers need to look at their seed purchase agreements or other grower contracts and if they have questions, they should contact their seed representative for future direction.


USDA’s Risk Management Agency To Expand Crop Insurance Offerings in 2016

Producers in the Northern Plains may have just finished getting the 2015 crop in the ground, but officials are USDA’s Risk Management Agency are getting a jump on next year.  Late last week officials announced the expansion of two different crop insurance programs, effective for the 2016 season

Alston 1

That’s Mike Alston with RMA.  Alston also noted that RMA is offering new tools to help producers integrate the new choices into their decision making process

Alston 2

Both the mapping tool and RMA’s Crop insurance decision maker can be found at www.usda.rma.gov


USDA “Disappointed” In EPA’s Neonicotinoid Assessment

NeonicThe discussion around the risk and rewards of using neonicotinoid seed treatments got a shot in the arm last month.  A recent letter from United States Department of Agriculture to the Environmental Protection Agency expressed USDA’s disappointment in EPA recent evaluation of neonicotinoid seed treatments, calling it “incomplete”.

In October 2014, EPA issued a report indicating there are no clear or consistent economic benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in soybeans—a conclusion USDA said is not only false, but has again put growers in a position where they must defend their pest management decisions.

“As a whole, USDA disagrees with that assessment,” USDA states in a letter sent to EPA in April, “We believe that pest management  strategies are made in consideration  of pest pressures,  climate, landscape  and numerous  other factors.”

USDA stressed that growers should have the ability to use the best tools available to manage pests, including choice in seed treatment and pest management tactics based on what works for individual situations.

“Unfortunately, EPA’s conclusions are not supported by complete data nor analysis. EPA’s analysis does not include potential labor and management savings afforded by seed treatments,” USDA states in the letter. “Moreover, it does not consider cases when timely foliar applications are not possible or as effective due to general field and weather conditions. EPA’s calculation does not include any additional regulatory expenditure by landowners, such as costs to revise pesticide permit applications, or costs to submit new applications for foliar spraying.”

USDA also points out that EPA’s analysis does not consider other benefits of using neonicotinoids, including protection from the wide range of pests or minimizing the exposure of non-target insects.

For a full copy of USDA’s letter click Here