EU approves Agrisure Vipterra

The European Union granted official approval of the Syngenta corn variety MIR 162 Agrisure Vipterra, opening the way for exports of U.S. corn co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF). The long-delayed decision came after years of industry leadership and efforts including COCERAL, a grain trade association, FEFAC, a feed millers association, and the Irish Feed Millers Association.

“This approval is a great success as it opens the window of opportunity for U.S. products, including DDGS and CGF, to enter the EU market. This is especially attractive in big markets like Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. Their ability to import these high-protein feed ingredients is critical at a time of crop shortage in Europe and high prices. Everyone is looking for alternatives,” said Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council senior regional director based in Tunis.

Sifferath noted, however, the opportunity may only exist for a limited amount of time as new crop biotech events coming down the pipeline are not yet approved in Europe. Such products may be planted by U.S. farmers in the spring, meaning they may enter the market in the fall of 2013. This could again stall sales of U.S. co-products into the EU provided the approval process remains sluggish within the trade bloc.

“Corn co-products are a tremendous feed ingredient recognized as a good value by buyers within Europe and around the world,” Sifferath said. “Approvals such as this help livestock and poultry producers manage costs and expand options, and we are hopeful the availability of these options continue well into the future.”

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