Intercepting Gypsy Moth & Shifting Fortunes

Intercepting Gypsy Moth & Shifting Fortunes

Intercepting Gypsy Moth & Shifting Fortunes plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists stationed in Honolulu recently intercepted 11 Asian Gypsy Moth egg masses on a ship from Taiwan. Each of these masses can contain hundreds of eggs. The interception marks the first time the destructive pest's eggs have been discovered in the islands. In late September, officials inspected the foreign flag merchant vessel.  During the deck sweep, the agriculture specialists discovered 11 egg masses on various surfaces of the vessel superstructure. They were carefully scraped off and the areas treated. If established in the United States, gypsy moth could decimate America's forest resources and agriculture production.

NW Farm Credit Services has released their quarterly snapshot of the ag industry and according to Matt Kloes, Knowledge Center Coordinator, things look good.

KLOES: Fortunes have shifted in Northwest agricultural markets. Nursery producers are wrapping up sales that will make 2014 one of the industry's most profitable years since the downturn began in 2008. Beef and cattle prices continue to post new highs, while Northwest dairies benefit from near-record milk prices. Strong prices in the protein sector are met with lower feed costs, resulting in exceptional profitability for many producers. Caught between weak corn markets and a record-breaking world wheat crop, Northwest wheat prices are expected to be near break even for most producers.

Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.

Farmers in Kansas along with farmers from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska have recently filed suit against Syngenta over that company's release of the genetically modified corn MIR 162, saying that they feel Syngenta ruined export markets for U.S. corn in China. Since China has been rejecting MIR 162 corn since late 2013 domestic prices for corn have dropped dramatically. MIR 162 contains a protein that kills off damaging insects such as corn borer, army worm, and corn ear worm. A D.C. law firm is coordinating the lawsuits, which are seeking a minimum of $1 billion in damages and the prevention of further cultivation and marketing by Syngenta of MIR 162 corn. Farmers joining the suits say they felt misled by Syngenta in 2012 about the expected approval of MIR 162 by China. MIR 162 was approved for cultivation in the U.S. in 2010, and Syngenta representatives say the company was in full compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements when they commercialized it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It certainly provides food for thought.

Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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