Roundup Ready alfalfa was re-released in early 2011 after a lengthy review by USDA-APHIS, but has remained somewhat controversial in the public sphere. However, alfalfa hay growers have often been left out of this discussion, according to the Midwest Forage Association.
But no more. The MFA is conducting a survey of alfalfa growers on the issues associated with Roundup Ready alfalfa. The purpose, it says, is to better understand grower experiences and current views of the technology.
MFA hopes to gather data from all alfalfa farmers, both those who have and those who have not grown Roundup Ready alfalfa. Growers, small or large, who produce alfalfa for any purpose can take the survey. The survey is not open to non-growers.
The survey includes a number of questions about your current alfalfa production practices – acres, herbicides used, etc.
There's also a series of questions about whether you think Roundup Ready alfalfa is a valuable technology.
And finally it tackles some key questions about future restrictions that may be placed on Roundup Ready alfalfa. Such questions include:
Do you think it is possible for Roundup Ready alfalfa to be grown in a way that also allow farmers to produce hay for organic and other non-genetically modified markets.
Coexistence may involve some sacrifice, that is, paying attention to the needs of your neighbors, controlling gene flow from excess flowering, etc. Are you willing to take these steps
If changes/restrictions on planting or management of alfalfa are to be instituted, should these be mandatory, voluntary, worked out by industry or government enforced?
Are your customers concerned about a small amount (for example less than 0.3%) of contamination of conventional hay with Roundup Ready alfalfa
Do you think a mandatory compensation fund should be developed to compensate growers who have been harmed by the contamination by genetically engineered crops?
Survey results will be published (with participant names kept confidential) at the Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium Dec. 11-13, 2011), posted on the web, and emailed to participants.
The survey closes Nov. 1. Taking the survey will take about 15 minutes.
Find the survey at: ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=7247.Source: Midwest Forage Association