Farmland-Cenex vote delayed A second round of voting for the merger of Farmland Industries and Cenex Harvest States Cooperatives has been delayed. After a unification vote failed last year, boards of the two cooperatives planned another vote this summer. Now the boards have postponed this vote because of continued market and price volatility in key product areas, as well as low ag commodity prices.

BASF buys Cyanamid BASF recently announced it will purchase Cyanamid crop protection from American Home Products for $3.8 billion. The purchase will make BASF the fourth-largest agricultural company in the world behind Syngenta, Aventis Crop Science and Monsanto and will more than double its annual crop protection sales of $1.9 billion. The deal is expected to be completed by July 1, pending approval.

Biotech okay Biotech crops received a boost with a recent report from the National Research Council of The National Academies. The report states that the council is not aware of any evidence suggesting foods developed through genetic modification are unsafe to eat or unsafe in the environment.

The council's report did criticize the regulatory agencies governing these transgenic plants. EPA, USDA and FDA should do a better job of coordinating work and expanding public access to the process, especially because the number of these plants will increase, the report says.

Meanwhile, plans are under way for a summit on genetically modified foods to be held in Japan, July 21 through 22. At this summit, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of 29 wealthy industrialized countries, will attempt to clarify the debate on transgenic foods.