Demand for GM grains "[Demand for non-genetically modified grains] is by far the minority. We currently estimate it at around 2 to 2_1/2% of total export demand for U.S. corn. It is very much a niche market." Jim Anderson, president of the grain division, ConAgra

New canola Offering high oil content, variety 46A76 from Pioneer offers the Clearfield trait to provide tolerance to imidazolinone herbicide. If you're using Roundup Ultra, pick variety 46A52. It features good oil content, standability, strong blackleg tolerance and low green seed count. A conventional variety with high oil content, 45A03 features blackleg tolerance and is short in stature but strong in standability. Contact Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., Dept. FIN, Box 1150, Johnston, IA 50131, 515/334-6908.

Smart start in the a.m. Soon to be filling your grocer's shelf: Smart Start Soy Protein cereal from Kellogg Company. This new product introduction came after the FDA announced that adults who consume 25 g of soy protein can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower their cholesterol.

New seed corn herbicide A new option to control broadleaf weeds in corn is ready from Rhone-Poulenc. Connect 20WSP herbicide is 20% bromoxinyl by weight (the same active ingredient as in Buctril, only 13% less).

The company claims it's specifically for seed corn because of this lower concentration; it's less damaging.

It is not a plant growth regulator, and it is not absorbed through the roots which, according to the company, can cause damage to the corn. Treated corn is also less susceptible to external damage, or phytotoxicity. The herbicide is applied postemergence at a rate of 11/4 lbs./acre. One bag treats four acres. Contact Rhone-Poulenc Ag Co., Dept. FIN, 2 TW Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 800/ 345-3405.

Premium paid for IP beans Consolidated Grain and Barge Company (CGB) had such a success with its STS-IP (identity preserved) contracting program last year - 200,000 acres processed - that it's hoping to double the acreage this year to 400,000.

The company is looking for a number of contract growers for delivery. The program requires strict management (both for the elevator and the farmer), but it gives growers the opportunity to earn premiums from $0.15 to $0.30/bu. for soybeans that have not been genetically modified (GM).

"We're looking for farmers who are willing to plant STS-certified seed, treat it with DuPont's Synchrony herbicide, keep it segregated and follow the IP system [growers sign a contract, turn in seed and Synchrony receipts, attend meetings and label their bins and trucks] until it is delivered to the elevator," says Stefani Kline, merchandiser, premium grains.

To keep everyone honest, CGB will do random audits. A company representative may even go out to a grower's farm during planting or harvest. "They also have to keep their samples for one year," Kline says. "We test every truck at the elevator for GMOs [genetically modified organisms]."

Delivery and the premium are different depending upon where the grower is located. CGB and other cooperating elevators are located in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Iowa and Ohio.

The premium can be up to $0.15/bu. for harvest delivered; $0.20/bu. for buyers call; and $0.02/month/bu. if the producer holds from April through August.

For more information, contact CGB, Dept. FIN, 5848 Old Rte. 54, New Berlin, IL 62670, 217/483-3980.

Save money on chemicals A new rebate program from Aventis, called Right on the Money, puts the cost of Liberty under $15/acre at the 24 oz./acre rate. You receive a $16/gal. rebate on the post-emergent herbicide if you purchase and use at least 20 gal.

Also, the company will pay the costs of retreating a field in the event that the approved Liberty program fails to perform to label specifications with the Freedom Assurance Program.

To register for either program, contact your local sales representative or call toll-free 877/465-4237 by April 15. Product purchase deadline is June 15.

Sustainable grants USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will award grants to farmers in the north central region who would like to conduct research or demonstration projects to further sustainable agriculture. Applications are due April 28 and decisions will be made in late June, with funds awarded for the 2001 crop production season. For an application, contact SARE at 402/472- 7081 or ncrsare@unl.edu or find one on its Web site at www.sare.org/ncrsare.

What do you think? In a recent workshop report of the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council, these questions were raised: Should there be EPA standards for safety and efficacy of transgenic plants? Should there be an equivalent of the Center for Disease Control to oversee the use of transgenics? Tell us what you think.

Record setters * U.S. ethanol production is expected to increase to 1.8 billion gal. annually, up from 1.39 billion in 1998. * Organic food production in Europe has grown to a $7.3 billion industry. * The University of Wales says that the number of organic farms has grown from 6,300 in 1985 to more than 100,000 in 1998. Corn yields of 393.7, 305.9 and 304.5 bu./acre topped out the annual National Corn Growers Association "Super Bowl" for farmers. The big winner, Francis Childs, Manchester, IA, used Pioneer 34G82 in nonirrigated fields. Leila B. Beaver and Kenneth Beaver, Jr., Sterling, NE, hauled in the big bushels in the irrigated class; both used Pioneer 32P76. Doane's Agricultural Report, NCGA