Ag Connection
Your link to the Universities for ag extension and research information


Volume 5, Number 6
June 1999
 

 

This Month in Ag Connection

New publications available from your local University of Missouri Extension Center

G4091 – Corn and Soybean Replant Decisions

GMO Spells NO In Some Countries
Import Status of Several GMO's
Help!  My Pond Has Become A Jungle
Aquatic Weed Publications Available

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GMO Spells NO In Some Countries

GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms that are causing a lot of controversy in many parts of the world. It is difficult for us in the US to understand the feelings of European Union (EU), Japanese, and other foreign consumers on this issue. Some are concerned about "tinkering" with nature, others have food safety concerns, and still others may be using this issue as a trade tactic to discriminate against imports and to support their domestic policies. Getting GMO’s approved also involves "bureaucratic red tape" which delays what is eventually approved.

Do not laugh this off. Many foreign consumers are more opinionated about this issue than we are on converting to the metric system. European governments are even putting together disaster plans to deal with the possible effects of GMO contamination — similar to nuclear disaster plans. Yep, that's how they feel.

Who Will Buy GMO’s And What Will They Pay?  
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and A. E. Staley have placed bans on buying GMO corn not approved by the (EU) for import. This includes Roundup Ready corn, some Bt corns and "stacked" genetically modified varieties. Cargill, Inc. has indicated that, while it will buy EU non-approved corn, the company will move these into the domestic market and not attempt to market them to EU.

The ban on GMO corn raises a number of questions. How will the companies monitor the situation? Testing is time consuming and difficult to do. Evidentially, ADM doesn’t plan to check every truck, but use "spot checks", which leaves open the possibility of missing some. Apparently part of Cargill’s strategy for seeking to buy out Continental’s grain business is to acquire facilities that will allow them to segregate identity preserved grains (including GMO’s) for specialty markets and export. But keeping GMO grains separate is a difficult task no matter how they go about it.

What does this mean for corn producers? How can a farmer guarantee GMO free corn? The planted acreage of GMO hybrids continues to grow. Some estimate they will account for nearly one-quarter of the corn acres this year. Even if a producer doesn’t plant it, what about cross-pollination from adjoining fields? If a farmer grows both GMO and non-GMO hybrids, keeping them separate means thoroughly cleaning out planters, combines, grain carts, trucks, augers and dryers along with separate bins. This all adds to increased time, labor, equipment and management costs.

There are two sides to the marketing question. One side says, "Plant what the market wants!" The GMO hybrids offer solutions to difficult insect control or weed problems, creating potential economic benefits from their use. Some, especially those opposed to GMO, argue that producers ignore what the market wants and only plant whatever is more efficient or yields better. They say, regardless of any production benefits, producers should produce for the market and if the market doesn’t want GMO, then plant non-GMO. This may actually give some farmers an opportunity to produce and market non-GMO as value added products. Non-GMO grains would probably need to be kept in on-the-farm storage. At this time, no real idea on how this might work has been formulated. The work of keeping these grains separate may be more trouble than the added value may be worth.

But what is the market offering for non-GMO? Segregating varieties or producing non-GMO varieties gives up the GMO’s production efficiencies and can add inefficiencies resulting from increased handling and management costs. Is the market willing to pay a premium for this? So far, ADM and Staley are saying they won’t take GMO’s. They aren’t saying anything about paying more for non-GMO!

It’s getting to be a complicated question and it won’t be resolved overnight. Will non-GMO get a premium? Will GMO be discounted? Who will buy what? If they don’t test every load, how can they be sure? Will non-GMO premiums or GMO discounts offset the production advantages of the GMO varieties or the cost of keeping them separate? How these questions are eventually answered will impact future production and marketing decisions.

For this year, producers able to separate non-GMO grain may want to look for opportunities to market it at a premium. Ask seed dealers for actual event names (i.e. E176) and for export restrictions that might apply.

Authors: Melvin Brees, Farm Management Specialist, and Jim Jarman, Agronomy Specialist


Import Status of Several GMO’s

Bill Wiebold, State Extension Agronomy Specialist, has put together a list of GMO corn and soybean events and their import status. He has collected this information from several sources. Be aware that this is a fluid situation and can change. Several of the largest, multi-national companies based in the US and Europe have large investments to protect. The fact that this has become a problem with international grain sales proves that people in certain other countries are serious and have real power. This list includes the company involved, the transgenic event, the event's brand name, and where the event is approved or not approved.

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   GMO Event

Type

Approved In:

      

U.S.A.

European Union

Japan

Canada

Corn Monsanto Mon 810 – "YieldGard" Insect resistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Novartis Bt 11 – also often called "YieldGard" (yes two different events have same common name) Insect resistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Novartis (from Ciba) E-176 – often called "Maximizer with Knockout" Insect resistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Liberty Link T25 Herbicide resistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pioneer stacked traits of Mon 810 and T25 (note that the separate events are approved in Europe, but not the combination) Insect resistance and herbicide resistance

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

AgrEvo Cry 9c – often called "StarLink" Insect resistance

Yes

No

No

No

DeKalb DBT 418 – often called "Bt-Xtra" Insect resistance

Yes

No

No

Yes

Liberty Link T14 Herbicide resistance

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

DeKalb's DLL25 (B16) Herbicide resistance for Glufosinate (Liberty)

Yes

No

No

Yes

Roundup Ready GA21 Herbicide resistance

Yes

No

No

Yes

Soybean Roundup Ready Herbicide resistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Authors: Melvin Brees, Farm Management Specialist, and Jim Jarman, Agronomy Specialist


Aquatic plants can be classified into four different types:

Algae – Can be present in 3 forms: planktonic - free floating, filamentous - moss like, and macrophytic - plant like. Usually only filamentous algae causes problems in ponds.

Floating plants – Example include lily pads, water lotus, duckweed and water shield.

Submersed plants – Examples include coontail, water milfoil, and common pondweed. Coontail is usually the plant that causes the most problems.

Emergent plants – Cattail and water primrose are the two most problematic emergent plants in Missouri by limiting access to the water surface. Arrowhead, sweet flag, waterplantain, irises, and spatter dock being examples of plants that can be desirable.

 

Aquatic weed publication available from your local University of Missouri Extension Center

G4856 – Aquatic Weed Control in Missouri


And from the Missouri Department of Conservation

Pond Management Series:
Submerged Plant Control in Lakes and Ponds

Floating Leaf Plant Control in Missouri Lakes and Ponds
Algae Control in Lakes and Ponds
Duckweed and Watermeal Control in Missouri Lakes and Ponds
Cattail and Water Primrose Control in Missouri Lakes and Ponds
Grass Carp Control Weeds in Ponds and Lakes
Nuisance Aquatic Plants in Missouri Ponds and Lakes

Other Guides:
Fish Kills in Ponds and Lakes
Good Record Keeping Means Better Fishing
Monoculture of Channel Catfish in Farm Ponds
Fishing in a Barrel

Click here to see many of these are also on the Internet.

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Help!  My Pond Has Become A Jungle

Not all aquatic plants are a nuisance for people and animals that use the pond. In fact, aquatic plants are necessary for good fish and wildlife habitat. Excessive plant growth in ponds can be attributed to natural soil fertility and the addition of nutrients into a pond’s watershed. Proper pond management can help control the growth of aquatic plants as well as enhance the aesthetic qualities of the pond.

The largest buildup of nutrients in a pond normally occurs during the winter and early spring when plants are dormant, allowing nutrient levels to accumulate in the pond’s water and sediments. When waters warm up later in the spring, a pond goes through a process known a "turning over" in which the pond’s surface waters and waters at the pond bottom mix vigorously due to temperature differences. This turning action brings the nutrients that were trapped in the sediment into the water column. The warming of the water stimulates aquatic plant growth, which can develop into a nuisance.

The first part of aquatic weed management is knowing the boundaries of the pond’s watershed and managing its nutrient sources. Common sources of excess nutrients include commercial fertilizers, animal manure and home septic systems. Nutrients from these sources should be managed so that they are used for watershed plant growth, not washed into the pond.

The second step is to determine how the pond will be used and what aquatic plants complement those uses. Ponds can be used to supply water for homes, livestock, irrigation, and human recreation — fishing, swimming, boating, wildlife observation, etc.

The third step in aquatic plant management is selecting the proper method of control, if needed. The occurrence of aquatic plants is a natural process, but what types of plants dominate the aquatic community can be controlled through mechanical, biological or chemical methods. Each method has additional effects on the pond’s environment that should be considered prior to use.

These methods can be used singularly but are most effective when two or more methods are utilized. The right method of control will depend on what plants are present and how the pond is being used.

Mechanical control consists of physically removing the plants for the aquatic environment, manipulating water depth, or covering area infested for excess growth to prevent the plants from receiving sunlight. This is labor intensive plus you must properly dispose of the material so as to not reintroduce plant nutrients back into the pond. Mechanical control is usually only recommended in extreme situations.

Using a rake or seine is usually recommended for removing thick mats of filamentous algae on the pond’s surface. Cutting and removing can be used for emergent plants. Changing the water’s depth is an effective practice for submersed and floating plants. Submersed plants can be effectively controlled in small areas by using floating covers. Mechanical treatments usually require a secondary treatment to prevent plants from growing back.

Biological control usually means introducing a plant or animal species that changes the pond’s environment. One of the few recommended biological treatments is stocking of grass carp. Grass carp are only effective for submersed aquatic plant control and some algae control.

Another method of biological control is to add the aquatic plants that you would prefer to have growing in the pond. These preferred plants will not only provide excellent fish and wildlife habit but can help in removing excess nutrients in the water, thus helping to keep unwanted plants at bay. Biological treatment will take longer before results will be realized — be patient.

Chemical treatment should always be considered a temporary control method. Chemical labels must be strictly followed. Chemical treatments include the use of specific herbicides to kill vegetation and the use of color dyes to shade out algae and submersed plants.

Before using chemical treatment you will need to identify the plant and know the pond water volume. When treating aquatic plants with a chemical only treat part of the pond at a time, usually one-fourth of the pond’s surface. Treating the entire pond can result in a fish kill due to a large mass of dead material using up the water’s oxygen during the decaying process.

Ideally, a pond should have about 20% plant cover on the pond’s surface and bottom to provide good habitat for fish and wildlife. Control is usually not necessary or recommended until plant cover exceeds 40%, depending on how the pond is used.

To prevent your pond from becoming an aquatic weed patch, manage the level of nutrients in a pond’s watershed and establish the aquatic plants you want. For more information on pond management and aquatic plants contact your local University of Missouri Extension Office or the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Author: Darin Starr, Ag Engineering Specialist

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University of Missouri ExtensionAg Connection - June 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/newsletters/is-99-06.htm -- Revised: April 20, 2004
daydr@missouri.edu