COL Don't miss a step with GMO grain

With the expansion of genetically modified organisms, it is important to realize that some grain needs to be segregated and identified as to where it can and can't be used, says Chuck Schwartau, regional Extension educator in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Association of Cooperatives, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association and the Extension Service have embarked on a major education and awareness campaign regarding the marketing of GMO crops.

The organizations have undertaken a project titled "Know Where to Go.''

If you are growing any of the specific GMOs, it's imperative that you segregate that product in storage, that you check your outlets to be sure they will accept certain GMOs and that you inform the markets any time you are delivering GMO product.

Special management needed for alfalfa


Special management is needed for drought-stressed alfalfa fields this fall, says Neil Broadwater, Winona County Extension educator.

If harvesting after the stand goes into dormancy, cut the stand 4 inches to 6 inches high to allow for snow retention, which provides insulation of the soil and plants against winter hazards.

Liquid manure application on the stand isn't recommended under drought conditions because it may increase stress to plants by burning them. A yield of at least one-half ton per acre probably would be needed to justify the fuel, labor, and other expenses involved with harvesting hay, Broadwater said.

Aflatoxin could be problem in corn crop

Aflatoxin may be a potential problem in the corn crop, says Lee Milligan, Extension agent in St. Croix County, Wis. High temperatures, high humidity, drought stress and damage caused by hail, disease and animals favor the development of aflatoxins.

Historically, southern state below the Corn Belt are more likely to experience problems with aflatoxins in corn, cottonseed and peanuts.

Aflatoxins are cancerous, especially to dairy producers. To prevent aflatoxin contamination in milk, the Food and Drug Administration has established a tolerance of no more than 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin in dairy feedstuffs, Milligan said.

Claim checks should arrive before 2004


Non-StarLink claim checks should be distributed to farmers by the end of the year, says Paul Carr, regional Extension educator in Minnesota.

The claims pertain to the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against StarLink's owner on farmers' behalf.

"Since the deadline, the claims administrator has been processing the submitted claims,'' Carr said. "The claims administrator has sent letters out to individuals who filed claims with incomplete information. These individuals have an opportunity to correct their information and send it back into the claims administrator.''

StarLink was sold in the United States from 1998-2000 and was approved for food use, but not for human consumption or export.

What To Read Next
Get Local