False alarm

Biotech won one recently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 17 consumers claiming allergic reactions to StarLink apparently did not eat food with the genetically modified corn. Tests on the food samples and blood serum provided by the consumers did not find the presence of StarLink. Friends of the Earth rejected the results saying the testing was flawed and too few people were tested.

USDA buys biofuel

Making a commitment to biofuels, USDA recently announced it will use biodiesel and ethanol fuels in its fleet vehicles when possible. All USDA diesel fuel storage tanks will be filled with blends of 20% or higher biodiesel fuels, and USDA gasoline fueling facilities will use ethanol blends containing at least 10% ethanol. USDA already owns 700 E-85 flex-fuel autos and intends to continue purchasing or leasing alternative fuel vehicles.
— NewsEdge Corporation

A fair rental price

An updated version of a software program from the University of Minnesota will better help farmers determine land rent prices. The redeveloped FairRent for Windows walks operators through a decision-making process that includes revenue projections, input analysis, overhead expense analysis, and labor and management requirements. Contact the Center for Farm Financial Management, Dept. FIN, 130 Classroom Office Bldg., 1994 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, 800/234-1111, www.cffm.umn.edu or circle 188.

Golden Harvest lawsuit dismissed

The J.C. Robinson Seed Company will continue to be part of Golden Harvest Seeds after a judge dismissed a lawsuit asking that J.C. Robinson be removed from the group of seed companies. Golden Harvest board members representing Golden Seed Company, Sommer Bros. Seed Company, Thorp Seed Company and Garwood Seed Company filed the lawsuit in March.

FMD update

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the European Union has cost $15 billion in damage from February through July, according to Martin Schneidereit, DVM, of Germany's Health Industry Foundation. Efforts to stem the disease have required the culling of 3.6 million animals.