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TheCropSite Newsletter - 12 June 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 12th June 2012.

Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

Editorial - Welcome to TheCropSite Newsletter

Consumer preferences - why people purchase different items - has always fascinated me and a new study caught my eye looking at preferences toward genetically modified (GM) foods. The study showed that people are more willing to actually buy GM foods than they may admit to when surveyed. Here's how it worked:

The New Zealand researchers set up street-side fruit stands in six different countries: Belgium, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK. The stalls sold fresh fruit clearly displaying three different labels: 'organic, Biogrow certified', 'low residue, local designation' and '100 per cent spray-free, genetically modified'.

When fruits labeled 'organic' were priced 15 per cent higher than market value and 'GM' fruits were discounted by 15 per cent, in the consumer surveys, the most popular choice reported for New Zealander and Swedish customers was organic. However, at the actual fruit stalls, GM labeled fruit was most popular.

German customers indicated in the survey that they preferred low residue fruit, but were also most likely to buy GM labeled fruit at the stalls. Given the same pricing structure, GM labeled fruit was the most or second most popular choice in three out of the five European countries at the fruit stalls, despite GM being the least popular choice given in surveys in every country.

After making their purchases, customers were asked about their decisions. Price was a common factor.

These results suggest surveys may have exaggerated the extent of negative feelings towards GM products. The researchers conclude that 'social expectancy' leads people to make different choices in a survey situation than they would make in a real-life consumer situation.

In other words, a person may be more likely to choose a cheaper, GM product if they believe no-one is watching, but in a survey situation, there is a greater desire to make a socially acceptable choice.

The researchers point out their reasoning was inferred, but they say their findings show that GM foods will be more accepted by consumers if they are cheaper and the advantages are clearly explained.

Have a great week!

Stunted, Yellowing, Wilting Corn: Could Nematodes Be the Cause?
There continues to be lots of questions about whether plant-parasitic nematodes are causing damage to the Midwest corn crop, writes Greg Tylka, Iowa State Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology.

Factors in Selecting an Irrigation System
The majority of agricultural irrigation systems in Georgia fit into one of two broad categories: sprinkler irrigation and micro-irrigation.

Growing the Grunt: Developing Green Biofuels for Australia
In 300 BC, the Syrian city of Antioch had public street lighting fuelled by olive oil. At the 1900 Paris World Fair, German inventor Rudolph Diesel demonstrated his engine powered by peanut oil.

USDA Completes Most Comprehensive Genetic Analysis of Corn To-Date
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their colleagues have published the most comprehensive analysis to date of the corn genome, an achievement expected to speed up development of improved varieties of one of the world's most important agricultural commodities.

   United States

CME Group Has Record Volume in Short-Dated New Crop Options
CME Expands CBOT Grain, Oilseed Open Outcry Trading Hours
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Wednesday
CME: Corn, Soy, Wheat Futures Closed Higher Thursday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher on Friday
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Monday
NFU Internationally Represented at WFO General Assembly
NCGA Conference: Corn Experts Focus on Technology for Utilisation
Farm Bill Good for Young Farmers
US Senators Vote 90-8 to Proceed with 2012 Farm Bill
NCGA Conference Teaches Political History of Ethanol
Farmers Reminded to Sign Up for 2012 Census of Agriculture
Corn Crop Appears Sulfur-Deficient in Western Illinois
Grain Hedge: Dollar Index Retreat, Weather Props Up Commodities
GeoGrain: Corn, Soy Spot Basis Continues to Steadily Improve
Agricultural Safety and Health Group Celebrates 50 Years
Early Confirmation of Twospotted Spider Mite in Iowa Fields
Bt Corn Root Injury Confirmed, Early Western Corn Rootworm
Economist: Wheat, Corn, Soybean Export Expectations

   Saudi Arabia

UN Welcomes $66 Million for Saudi Arabia Ag Projects


Biological Stress Affects Malaysian Oilseeds


FAO Food Price Index Drops Sharply
Rabobank: Global Sugar Surplus Likely for 2012/13
Fighting Child Labour in Agriculture - More must be Done
USDA: Private Exporters Report Sales Activity for China, Egypt
Food Production in 'Race Against Time'


Rice Diseases, Insect Pests to Hit Zhejiang, China This Year
China Harvests More Than Half of Winter Wheat

   United Kingdom

Line-up of Speakers for CropWorld Global 2012 Announced
HGCA: Updated Information on Yellow Rust Resistance
Cereals 2012 Ready for Business


Philippines Sugar Production 'Within Target'
Government Allots P20 Million for Agri-Fishery Projects in E. Visayas


Soilborne Disease to be Focus of Symposium in WA
Churchill Fellowship Recipient Examines More Resistant Wheat Breeding


Spain Forescasts 30 Per Cent Drop in Cereal Harvest

   Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to Export Rice to Africa and Middle East
Float System Cultivation a Success


Canada's New Food Safety Bill Expect to Open Export Markets


Country Corn Project to Help Maize Producers in Colombia


Ecuadorian Rice Growers Confront Snail Plague


Global Protein Market in State of Structural Change

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