April 29, 2016

Lack of Regulatory Approval Creates Headaches For Round Up Ready 2 Xtend Growers

MN soy july 2012Monsanto and many of its subsidiaries are commercializing Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ (RR2X) soybeans this spring, and farmers across the U.S. may have ordered or taken delivery of soybean seed containing the trait.  Even so, a lack of export approval from the European Union and a lack of approval by EPA for the use of Dicamba on soybeans containing the trait will pose their fair share of challenges for growers in the upcoming season.  The American Soybean Association has issued a couple of guidelines for those producers intending to plant the trait and reminding growers who have concerns to work with their seed dealer or retailer to pick a seed that will work for them.

RR2X soybeans are new biotech soybeans that are tolerant to both dicamba and glyphosate herbicides.

Status of Approval in Major Export Markets

Final approval by the EU Commission has been expected for the past few months, is expected soon and before harvest, but, according to ASA, cannot be guaranteed. The American Soybean Association, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Monsanto and others have been working with both EU and U.S. Government officials to press for approval of RR2X and other pending new biotech soybean traits. Chinese import approval of RR2X soybeans was obtained in February, and approvals in other major export markets has also been obtained.  Until approval is granted, many elevators, buyers and processors will not be accepting soybeans containing the RR2X trait and growers will need to keep any bushels produced from the plants segregated.

No Dicamba Use Allowed on RR2X Soybeans in the 2016 Growing Season

Growers also should be aware that while RR2X soybeans are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, no dicamba herbicides will be approved for use on RR2X soybeans during the 2016 growing season.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only recently proposed a draft label for a dicamba product to be used with RR2X soybeans, and this draft label, as well as anticipated labels for low-volatility dicamba herbicide formulations will NOT be finalized until late this summer or fall.  The American Soybean Association says any use of a dicamba herbicide on RR2X soybeans in-season during 2016 before final labels are approved by EPA and state officials would be a violation of law.

ASA is reviewing the draft label proposed by EPA and will submit comments on it to EPA. ASA will share its draft comments with state associations and is encouraging individual growers to submit comments on the draft label.


Dedicated Cage-Free Egg Facility Planned in Lake Preston

There’s word from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development that Rembrandt Foods has announced plans to build a fully dedicated cage-free egg production site in Lake Preston, South Dakota.

The facility expansion will initially house approximately three million cage-free layers, in planned phases. The facility will have on-site breaking equipment, with further growth planned.

The South Dakota location was selected for its central location, access to feed, and biosecurity benefits. Construction will begin in 2016, with the first hens introduced in 2017.

“Rembrandt Foods will be a welcome addition to South Dakota’s robust agriculture industry,” said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

“We look forward to becoming a part of the local community and building long term, mutually beneficial relationships in this agricultural region,” says Jonathan Spurway, Vice President of Marketing at Rembrandt Foods.

More than 100 food companies and industry leaders have announced plans to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs over the next ten years and the list continues to grow.

“We recognize the growing consumer demand for cage-free eggs and egg products and as a leader in this industry, we are committed to supporting our customers’ cage-free needs,” says Dave Rettig, President of Rembrandt Foods. “The Lake Preston operation reflects our interest in a cage-free future and we are excited to make this investment.”

The Iowa-based company supplies eggs and egg products to food manufacturers, foodservice providers, restaurant chains, and retail grocers.

“A cage-free supply chain isn’t built overnight,” Rettig adds, “but the Lake Preston facility puts us another step closer to facilitating a cage-free standard.”



SDSU Student Places in Alltech Young Scientist program

Nirosh Dias Senevirathne, a South Dakota State University graduate student, was awarded second place in the Alltech Young Scientist North American regional graduate division. The title of the award winning paper was “Calf nutrition and growth performance.”

Senevirathne was nominated to participate in the Alltech Young Scientist program by his mentor, Jill Anderson, assistant professor in the SDSU dairy science department. For individuals to compete in this year’s competition, the student had to be nominated by a professor from their university.

The Alltech Young Scientist program is an opportunity for students to participate with the company in pursuit of natural solutions in animal health, plant technology, environmental sciences and other biotechnology-related sectors, while also gaining valuable experience with Alltech, a global leader in the feed and food industry.

“I feel amazed and am delighted to have achieved this award through my education. I am proud to be an Alltech Young Scientist winner,” said Senevirathne. “I someday hope to help the agriculture industry through my research and in the future obtain a position in research and development.”

For Senevirathne’s second place award, he received $1,000 cash prize, a certificate of achievement, an Alltech Young Scientist Medal and a gift basket.

Senevirathne is working toward his doctorate through South Dakota State University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Sri Lanka and his master’s degree in Japan.

SDSU Senevirathne




Nirosh Dias Senevirathne, South Dakota State University, along with his mentor, Jill Anderson, assistant professor in the SDSU dairy science department, accepts his second place award in the Alltech Young Scientist North American regional graduate division.