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TheCropSite Newsletter - 19 June 2012

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The Crop Site

Tuesday 19th 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:

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, and price was a common factor.

The results suggest surveys may have exaggerated the extent of negative feelings towards GM products. The researchers concluded 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 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!

Effects of US Immigration Policy on Agriculture
Changes being considered would affect the market for hired farm labor. Analysis by the Economic Research Service looks at the possible effects of a decrease in the supply of unauthorized labor in all sectors of the US economy—including agriculture—and an increase in the number of temporary nonimmigrant foreign-born farmworkers.

Time to Look for SCN Females on Soybean Roots
The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is one of the most serious soil-borne pathogens of soybean in Iowa and throughout the Midwest, writes Greg Tylka, Iowa State University Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology.

Corn, Soybean Diseases: Update and Outlook
Other than some issues with seedling diseases a few weeks ago, relatively few diseases have been observed on corn and soybean in Illinois so far this season.

Bt Corn Root Injury Confirmed, Very Early Western Corn Rootworm
The western corn rootworm season is progressing at an unprecedented pace, reports Professor of entomology and crop sciences Extension coordinator Mike Gray.

Herbicide-resistant Weeds: Current Challenges, New Tools
The ongoing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds is a source of worry in Illinois, said University of Illinois professor of molecular weed science Patrick Tranel.

How Plants Chill Out
Plants elongate their stems when grown at high temperature to facilitate the cooling of their leaves, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in Current Biology.


Record High for Brazilian Agri Exports
Brazilian Meat Production to Grow by 43.2 per cent


Open Trade Boost to Agricultural Productivity
Better Marketing Could Improve Farm Safety
Wheat Yields are Levelling Off, Even in Some Developing Countries
FAO Urges Greater Push to Reduce Food Losses
WASDE: Bearish Corn, Bullish New Crop Beans
No Single Solution for Water, Food Security
Global Rice Production Projected To Reach Record-High

   United States

National Weather Service Rainfall Data Integrated with Yield Forecast App
Herbicide Resistant Weeds: Current Challenges, New Tools
Drought still Affecting Grasshopper and Honeybee Populations
Groundwater Nitrate Concentrations Increasing in Rolling Plains
Purdue Expert to Speak at Bioeconomy Conference
Normal Trade Relations with Russia Established
CME: Corn Futures Closed Down on Tuesday
CME: June WASDE Report Contains Few Surprises
CME: Corn Futures Finished Up Wednesday
New Solution to Pest Problems in Alfalfa
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Thursday
Pioneer Improves, Expands Digital Resources for Growers
Crop Ratings Affected by Persistent Drought
Do You Have a Corn Nematode Problem?
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Friday
CME: Western Cornbelt Crops Get Rainfall
Gasifier Uses Illinois Feedstocks for Heat, Power Applications
Reducing Energy Use in Agricultural Production
Anticipating Estimates of 1 June Corn, Soybean Stocks
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Monday

   United Kingdom

CAP Greening Must Allow Arable Farmers to Respond to Market Signals
BCPC Launches New Plant Protection Website
Positive Outlook for Scottish Agriculture
Tough Negotiations for Agricultural Wages Board
Sugar Beet Contract Offer Details Announced
CEREALS 2012: Global Figures Reveal High Cost of UK Crop Production
CEREALS 2012: Free Biomass Boilers for UK Farmers
CEREALS 2012 - Peter Kendall: GM 'Must Not be Ignored'
Rothamsted, BBSRC Launch 20:20 Wheat
Sustainable Intensification Vs Low Input Farming
Sustainable Intensification Versus Low Input Farming


Dry Start for Australian Crops
Australia Helps Japanese Rice Farmers
Australian Economist Addresses Policy Workshop in Europe


Bangladesh Wheat Production Estimated at 1.15 Million Tons

   European Union

Farming Unions Call for Sugar Quota Extension Until 2020 at the Least
Support for Young Farmers Is Political Priority for Future
EU Feed Industry Commits to Sustainability
Copa Cogeca Calls for EU Sugar Quotas to Remain Until 2020
New Measures Needed to Allow Green Growth


Teagasc Crops BETTER Farm Open Days


Mozambique's Sugarcane Production to Increase


Genetically-Enhanced Soybeans Approved for Commercial Use

   Russian Federation

Cherkizovo Group Acquires Voronezhmyasoprom Assets


Bayer Opens European Wheat Breeding Center in Germany


ATO Guangzhou Leads US-China Biotechnology Seminars


Thai Rice Prices Decline


Should Some Support for Rural Areas be Aimed at Green Initiatives?


Re-Engineering the Colombian Cotton Sector

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