In time for harvest, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) has updated its database of grain handlers accepting biotech corn approved in the United States but not yet approved for import into the European Union (EU).

Effective immediately, growers can access the updated database on ASTA's Web site at http://www.amseed.org

"The ASTA database continues to provide valuable service and support for both grain handlers and farmers," says Dick Crowder, ASTA executive vice president. "It's another important tool we can use to meet our customers' needs."

Nearly 3,000 grain handling facility operators nationwide responded in this year's survey that they would accept grain that is not yet approved by the EU. For the 2002 harvest season, close to 1,800 grain handlers have posted their locations and, in some cases, delivery stipulations. This marks the fourth straight year ASTA has created the Web-based database.

Visitors to the database will find information capturing the details of grain handling and delivery policies of many facilities and locations. The data comes from grain handlers throughout the U.S. who were interviewed over the summer about their grain handling procedures for corn.

The database is user-friendly, making it easy for growers to search for local grain handlers. By simply typing in a ZIP code and citing a specific distance, database users can locate facilities and handling policies in a requested area. Growers who do not have access to the Internet may obtain database information from most seed company representatives.

Additional grain handlers may accept biotech corn that is not currently approved in the EU, but they may not be listed in the database. Growers are reminded to contact grain-handling facilities before delivery to learn of any special handling requirements and to verify that the facility is accepting biotech corn that has not been approved by the EU.

For the 2002 crop season, the vast majority of all U.S. corn traits have been approved for import. While most trading partners around the globe continue to evaluate and approve new biotech traits, the EU's regulatory system and biotech approval process remains broken.

For a list of specific biotech corn traits that have not been approved for import by the EU, consult the "Know Before You Grow" section of the NCGA Web site at ASTA's Web site at http://www.ncga.com/biotechnology/know_where/know_grow_approved.htm

"The database is an excellent example of cooperation among members of the grain industry supply chain," says Crowder.

Crowder notes that ASTA has worked with a number of seed companies to create and update the database. These include Bayer CropScience; Garst Seed Company; Monsanto Company; Mycogen Corporation, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC; Syngenta; and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. In addition, several trade associations have provided encouragement and assistance in establishing and building the database, including the NCGA; U.S. Grains Council; Corn Refiners Association, Inc; and various other grain and feed associations. Links to the database can be found on most of these company Web sites.