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[genet-news] GMO-FREE PRODUCTS & SEEDS: Market for non-GE tofu soybean from Canada growing

                                  PART 1

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SOURCE: London Free Press, Canada

AUTHOR: Hank Daniszewski


DATE:   03.04.2009

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INGERSOLL -- Tofu made from Ontario soybeans may have a limited fan base here in Canada, but the Japanese love it.

That presents a great marketing opportunity for local farmers.

About 100 soybean producers turned out for a meeting yesterday sponsored by Huron Commodities, a grains and oilseeds processor and wholesaler based in Clinton.

Company president Martin VanderLoo said Ontario soybeans are prized in Asian markets.

?Canadian soybeans are considered a premium soybean in the eyes of the Japanese because our growers take that extra effort to produce them,? he said.

The food-grade soybeans are processed into products such as tofu, miso and soy milk.

David Sippell, president of Syngenta Seeds Canada said Ontario has an opportunity to get a bigger share of Japanese and other Asian markets.

He said the acreage of food-grade soybeans is declining in the United States because growers there are moving into genetically-modified feed-grade varieties.

Chinese farmers also supply the Japanese market, but China is consuming more of its soybean crop.

?The Japanese have come into our market to fill their needs because there is a shrinking supply in other parts of the world,? said Sippell, who is based in London.

Sippell said the market for soy milk is also growing in Europe.

Food-grade soybeans have a higher protein and sugar content than the soybeans used for animal feed.

Food-grade soybeans also do not have a black spot on the skin that shows up in processed food.

High quality food grade soybeans now make up about 30 per cent of the Ontario crop.

Food grade soybean varieties require more care from the grower and must not be mixed with other beans.

But growers get a premium price for the food-grade soybeans, ranging from $1 to $3 extra a bushel.

Sippell said food-grade soybeans will be a bright spot for Ontario farmers in the coming years.

?We?re anticipating this market will increase over the next few years because of the global opportunities,? he said.

                                  PART 2

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SOURCE: Farm and Dairy, USA



DATE:   07.04.2009

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COLUMBUS ? Cheaper seed and lucrative premiums are driving more crop producers to plant non-genetically modified soybeans this year.

U.S. soybean production is 95 percent dominated by genetically modified Round Up Ready soybeans.


However, a small percentage of that crop ? perhaps 5 percent ? will be planted to non-GM soybeans and the trend toward the latter is expected to continue in the near future, said Jim Beuerlein, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

?Round Up Ready soybean seed is becoming expensive and there are a number of markets, both stateside and internationally, that want non-GM varieties and they are willing to pay the premiums for it,? said Beuerlein, who also holds a research appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

?So with premiums over $1 per bushel, that?s $50 in extra income per acre and non-GM seed has been historically cheaper than Round Up Ready seed to begin with. So we?ve got two things that are sparking grower interest: cheaper seed and the grain is worth more.?


Beuerlein anticipates Ohio growers to increase their non-GM soybean acreage by about 10 percent. But with 4.5 million acres of soybeans planted in Ohio each year, the increase is not earth shattering.

The reason, said Beuerlein, is because there simply isn?t enough seed to go around to meet demand.

?There?s a shortage of normal germplasm seed because we?ve been growing Round Up Ready varieties for so long and there wasn?t a big demand for non-GM seed. We have just not been developing those kinds of varieties so the seed and the varieties are somewhat limited at this time,? he said.

?But seed companies that deal with non-GM varieties are expected to increase their seed production 100 percent, perhaps 200 percent, this year so there will be a lot more seed available next year.?

Additionally, growers may be able to keep the seed of some non-GM soybean varieties that are not patented or if the seed laws allow that activity.

?One acre of seed production will plant up to 30 acres of soybeans the following year,? said Beuerlein.

Careful management

As growers prepare for this planting season, careful management of the crop should be considered, said Beuerlein.

?All seed is becoming much more expensive as traits are added and varieties are improved, so that dictates that we manage our seed planting operations very carefully,? said Beuerlein.

?We know that fungicide seed treatments will often increase emergence 10, 12, 15 percent depending on the year. Treating the seed with fungicide may allow us to reduce seeding rates and come out dollars ahead.?

Seeding rates

Beuerlein encourages growers to stick to the recommended seeding rates and not over-seed to help reduce seed costs. This may require more precise planting equipment.

?Growers should consider getting away from seeders that are not very precise in terms of seeding rates and use a mechanism that picks up and drops one seed in at a time,? said Beuerlein. ?That way you definitely know how much you are planting.?


Recommendations for ideal seeding rates are: if beans grow 40 inches or taller, plant 125,000 seeds per acre; for plants 30 inches tall, drop 175,000 seeds per acre and for plants that are 20 inches tall, plant 225,000 seeds per acre.

He also recommends growers space out the seeds in the row as accurately as possible. Growers can calculate this if they know their seeding rate.

For example, there are 6,272,640 square inches per acre. Divide that number by, say, 200,000 seeds per acre and you get 31.4 square inches of space per seed.

Divide 31.4 by the row spacing, 7.5 inches for example, to get the distance between the seed in the row or 4.2 inches.

Divide 12 inches by the 4.2 and you get the seed spacing in the row, which in this case is 2.86 seeds per foot of row.

Other planting recommendations include: carefully handling the seed so as not to damage the growing point, located right under the seed coat; make good seed-to-soil contact; plant 1 inch to 1.5 inches deep and finish planting by the third week of May.

?Maximum yields generally occur when we get everything in the ground by the third week of May,? said Beuerlein.


Ohio growers can refer to the 2008 Ohio Soybean Performance Trials for non-GM and Round Up Ready soybean varieties most suitable for their growing environment.

The report can be found at

The number of non-GM varieties tested is expected to increase for the 2009 trials.



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