s Purdue University researchers have unveiled a new software program for tracking genetically modified grains. The system will be available before the 2001 planting season.

Agronomist Rick Vierling and Bruce Craig, statistician, developed the system. It combines field data and statistical analysis. Producers keep planting records and check plants in the field. Data is also collected from lab tests run on seeds before planting and on grain going to market.

"With this system we can track the purity of products from seeds planted in the field to the grain used to make taco shells, and we can do it at a reasonable cost," says Vierling. "If you relied solely on lab testing, the cost would be higher than the added value of the product. With this system we combine field purity data and laboratory results in a compromise that keeps costs down."

The tracking system software can be used by any computer that can run an Excel spreadsheet. For more information, e-mail the Indiana Crop Improvement Association icia@Indcrop.org