Rejected GMO Hay Exports

Alfalfa hay went for about $195 a ton in September 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  This September, it went for $158, and there are multiple reasons.

China also played a role in exporting woes, according to University of Idaho Extension Forage Specialist Glenn Shewmaker.  The country has stringent restrictions on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. An increasing number of U.S. farmers produce GMO hay, and sometimes that seed can cross-pollinate into surrounding fields, causing other plants to pick up the genetics. If a Chinese importer traces any amount of GMO in the alfalfa, he will reject it.

Rejected GMO Alfalfa exports

No Hay For You!!! Original photo here:

Rejected GMO hay exports aren’t the only reason for the alfalfa hay decline.  Here are three others:

 – A port workers’ strike in California. “All that hay didn’t get shipped out,” Hay and Forage Association President Will Ricks said. “It just sat there in the docks. That was really tough on exporters.”

 – Dairy market demands. “Dairy farmers feed their cows a mixture of hay and corn. Since corn is relatively cheap right now, farmers are choosing to use more corn in their mixture,” Ricks said.

– Environmental setbacks. Last year’s heavy, monsoon-like rains, a severe drought and a series of wildfires contributed to the crop mishaps.

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Author: renezimbelman

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