FSA Notes By Keith Zanter The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends farmers should not plant any corn unless they are certain that the seed has been tested and found free of the protein Cry9c.
Farmers should insist that seed companies verify that the seed corn has been tested for the protein Cry9c to ensure that only tested seed is planted this spring.
StarLink is the trade-name for corn genetically modified to be pest resistant by producing a protein called Cry9c. The protein acts as a pesticide and is able to protect the plant from pests, such as the European Corn Borer. The protein was developed by Aventis Crop Sciences, a subsidiary of the French company, Aventis S.A., and sold through various U.S. seed companies.
Last week some seed companies reported finding isolated occurrences of extremely low levels of Cry9c in seed originally intended for sale this year. Based on aggregate information voluntarily provided by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), of those companies reporting, it is estimated that less than one percent of corn seeds for 2001 planting may contain Cry9c protein.
Companies involved have recovered and taken control of all lots of hybrid corn seed found to have this protein. Seed companies routinely test their products for impurities and many took steps to detect Cry9c before USDA recommended testing procedures on Dec. 29, 2000..
Major seed companies have informed USDA of their intent to continue following recommended testing procedures designed to detect Cry9c, and USDA will monitor this activity. In the event Cry9c is found, these companies will not sell the corn seed for planting.
USDA continues to work closely on this issue with the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, Iowa State University, National Corn Growers Association, American Seed Trade Association and Aventise.
LMAAP is a program designed to provide immediate financial assistance to sheep and lamb producers. Year two and three program payments will be for lambs that meet high quality grading standards at the slaughter and feeder lamb markets and will encourage producers to strive to produce and market highly muscled and lean lambs. Year two is Aug. 1, 2000 to July 31, 2001. Year three is Aug. 1, 2001 to July 31, 2002.
Please contact the office at least a week before selling either feeder or slaughter lambs, so we can provide you with the necessary information and forms so that you can receive payment as follows:
* Slaughter lambs at $5 per head
* Bonus payment of $3 per head of slaughter lambs marketed during June 1 to July 31 of program year two and three.
* Feeder lambs at $3 per head.
If you have questions, please call the office at 605-624-7060, ext. 2.