RISKY BUSINESS

While reviewing recent articles (Internet and magazine) in The Corn and Soybean Digest, we ran across items we'd like to clarify regarding “It's A Risky Business,” page 27, January 2004.

On the Web site, the correct phone number for AFBI (American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc.) is 800-483-3914.

In the magazine, AFBI is not an insurance writer or an insurance company. We are a managing general agent for many of the Farm Bureau Insurance companies. A managing general agent provides services to insurance companies in varying degrees. As a managing general agent, we work in concert with writing or insurance companies. For a full listing of companies, contact AFBI at 800-483-3914.
John Bednarik
Director of Underwriting, AFBI

CONTAINING SOYBEAN RUST

As a member of the soybean breeding community, I have a couple of comments to make concerning “Asian Rust-Infected Soybeans Should Not Be Allowed In The U.S.” (an item from the Soybean Producers of America, posted on www.cornandsoybeandigest.com on Jan. 14).

First, USDA should not allow the importation of any raw, unprocessed soybeans to the U.S. from any area within 100 miles of an infection of Asian soybean rust. USDA should allow the importation of processed soybean oil and soybean meal (provided it is heated to the point that the rust spores will be dead).

Secondly, I have listened to experts at a number of American Soybean Association meetings about this devastating disease.

My biggest question is: If rust came to Brazil via a wind from Africa, why did the disease first show up in the middle of the soybean-producing area of Brazil? Logic would dictate that this pathogen would have first infected the eastern side of Brazil's soybean area. These spores had to float over thousands of acres before touching down and beginning the infestation.

I believe experts are not correct about how this disease was introduced to Brazil. I believe that it was brought in with raw, unprocessed soybeans from an area that was infected with rust.

It is an awful risk to allow large grain companies to jeopardize the eternal livelihood of tens of millions of people so that they can buy soybeans a few pennies cheaper today.
PJ McCullough
Lebanon, IN

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