GUELPH - Producers using Monsanto biotech products now have more grain marketing options after the Canada Starch Operating Company Inc. (CASCO) announced on September 29 that all CASCO plants will expand their grain buying and accept corn containing the biotech traits that are permitted to be imported for processed feed in the European Union (EU).
"CASCO will now accept additional trait combinations," CASCO commodity purchasing manager Shelley Wybo said. "Growers have been asking us to accept the new stacked traits since they came on the market. We were able to add Roundup Ready Corn 2 in January, and we are glad that we can now add these stacked traits too."
Wybo says CASCO does not accept all traits on the market, and growers need to realize that some corn hybrid traits still will have to be channelled. Growers should check with their grain handler for clarification.
CASCO is now accepting corn containing the Monsanto traits YieldGard Corn Borer with Roundup Ready Corn 2; YieldGard Rootworm corn; YieldGard Rootworm with Roundup Ready Corn 2; YieldGard Plus corn; Roundup Ready Corn 2; and YieldGard Corn Borer corn.
"This comes at a time when farmers are seeking new choices and new technologies," Monsanto Canada trait and seed lead for Eastern Canada Mike McGuire said. "CASCO’s decision to accept these traits, which have full regulatory approval in Canada and now have the green light for import as processed feed in the EU, is contributing to the positive momentum that allows farmers to plant Monsanto’s biotech traits with confidence."
Ontario Corn Producers’ Association production issues manager Ryan Brown was happy to hear the announcement and feels it is a positive step.
"The Ontario Corn Producers’ Association has continued to work hard for its members in gaining improved market access," he said. "Different hybrid technologies work for different producers, and in this time of tight margins, we want our members to be able to choose what will make them most profitable. This is another step in that direction."
In April of this year, the European Commission announced that it is continuing to allow the import and use of specific biotech traits in processed feed products shipped to the EU.
According to a Monsanto press release, the EU’s April decision means these products may continue to be marketed legally in processed feeds, including corn gluten feed, which is the primary use of Canadian corn products exported to the EU.
Monsanto traits marketing manager Dan Wright says it is a bit early to see the effects of the announcement, but he expects to see positive effects when farmers start buying corn for next year.
"The growers are happy about it," he said. "Before they could take Roundup Ready corn to CASCO but a lot wanted to take Roundup Ready with YieldGard Corn Borer because corn borer pressure is so bad. This gives them a lot more options to grow more traits, which they’ve told us they want."
Wright says the real benefit of CASCO’s acceptance of the stacked traits is that it gives producers more choice.
"It really opens their options, and they can make a decision," he said. "Before, if they wanted to, they could grow it on-farm, but they couldn’t sell it through CASCO."
Monsanto encourages producers to talk to their grain handlers for more information. Some of these approved Monsanto traits still fall under Market Choices Canada and need to be channelled to grain handlers willing to accept them.
Monsanto feels that farmers need to understand each processing facility’s buying policy and request more information about the end markets it serves.