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Published January 27, 2011, 03:50 PM

Roundup Ready alfalfa returning to U.S. market

WEST SALEM, Wis. -- Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the deregulation of Roundup Ready® Alfalfa (RRA) without conditions.

WEST SALEM, Wis. -- Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the deregulation of Roundup Ready® Alfalfa (RRA) without conditions.

This was the final step in an extensive environmental review process undertaken by the USDA that took 46 months to complete. With the return of RRA to the U.S. market, alfalfa growers will once again have the option to use this safe, beneficial technology. Some of the benefits of RRA include a more productive and profitable crop, with RRA users self reporting a $110 per-acre advantage over conventional alfalfa. For many growers RRA also requires less use of crop protection products, providing both financial and environmental benefits.

"We are very pleased that the USDA has deregulated the product without conditions," said Mark McCaslin, President of Forage Genetics International, a co-developer of RRA. McCaslin noted that Forage Genetics and other licensed seed companies are prepared to sell RRA seed to growers for the spring planting season.

"With this decision, the USDA has acknowledged that in these difficult economic times, America's farmers need every advantage to stay competitive and help provide a reliable, affordable food supply for the U.S. and people worldwide," McCaslin said. "To feed a hungry world, we need all types of agriculture – biotech, conventional and organic options. Forage Genetics supports alfalfa forage and seed production for all markets and is a leading alfalfa seed supplier to the biotech, conventional, export and organic markets," he added.

McCaslin emphasized that Forage Genetics and the seed industry remain deeply committed to stewardship programs that enable co-existence and grower choice. "These stewardship programs, designed by teams representing seed companies, forage/seed growers and various market channels, provide assurance that RRA can safely co-exist with other crops." McCaslin said.

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