Tick tick tick: Roundup Ready beet issue hot at Institute

Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, spoke to growers in the North Dakota/South Dakota region at the International Sugarbeet Institute. Here, 500 listeners catch his remarks the first day.

Very careful not to discuss future legal strategies, or hypotheticals, Markwart advised growers to listen to his history of the legal cases, but to take their orders only from their own cooperatives. Since he represents them all, he doesn’t officially “know” any of their inside strategies for handling Roundup Ready beet uncertainties.

Among my take on Markwart’s bright line ideas:

* No one knows whether the plaintiff environmental groups will be try or be able to stop or interrupt Roundup Ready sugar beet production for 2011 root crops.

* Those who grow them owe it to their co-ops, their industry and other genetically-modified crop growers to follow all of the rules, because the USDA and opponents will be watching carefully (and, presumably, because it’s right to follow rules).

For more information on Markwart’s remarks, see Agweek, 3-21.

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