Genetic Enterprises International will host a field day on breeding non-GMO corn hybrids – Sept. 11, in Luther

For Release: August 29, 2014

LUTHER, Iowa — GMO seeds haven’t been around that long, but thanks to a slew of traits that help crops cope with weeds, pests and chemical applications, they quickly came to dominate the seed market, according to corn breeder Alix Paez.

“This has led some farmers to be unsure if non-GMO hybrids are available or who is developing them,” says Alix, who develops non-GMO corn hybrids for the Iowa-based seed company Genetic Enterprises International (GEI). “Farmers need to know that work is still going on to develop non-GMO hybrids, and there are food companies that are actively looking for non-GMO corn, but need farmers who will undertake to grow them.”

Learn about GEI’s non-GMO corn breeding program for conventional and specialty corn, and market opportunities for this corn, at a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day Alix and his wife, Mary Jane, are hosting on Thursday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Luther. The field day site is located at 3 Boone St. (County Road E57), on the southeastern side of town.

The event – “Breeding Conventional & Specialty Corn Hybrids for Iowa” – is free to attend and will feature a southwestern-style lunch made with GEI corn products. Enjoy tamales made with GEI Inka Maiz and GEI blue corn, refried beans, Mexican rice, blue cornbread, salad and cake. Due to space constraints, there is a limit of 50 people for lunch, and RSVPs are required for the meal. Please reply to Lauren Zastrow at (515) 232-5661 or [email protected] by Monday, Sept. 8. You may still attend if you choose not to have lunch.

Attendees will learn about the process a corn breeder goes through from beginning to end, and see a display of 30 conventional and specialty hybrids developed by Genetic Enterprises International that range in maturity from RM 105 to RM 114. Specialty hybrids on display will include high lysine, waxy, resistant starch, and colored and white corn. GEI breeders will describe the hybrids on display and discuss their agronomic characteristics, uses and attributes. Guests will also learn how GMO corn yields compare to non-GMO corn hybrids, and markets available for specialty hybrids.

Genetic Enterprises International is a seed company developing corn hybrids for all maturity zones. The company has breeding and selection nurseries in central Iowa for the temperate zones, and an active tropical corn breeding program. GEI develops products for specific nice markets or special applications in the food and feed industry, as well as hybrids of different maturities to fit the various growing areas in Iowa. GEI hybrids are suitable for conventional, organic or high-intensity farming practices.

Directions: The field day location is at the intersection of Iowa Route 17 and Co Rd E57. From U.S. 30, take Exit 137 for IA-17 toward Madrid and head south for about 5 miles. Turn right on Co Rd E57 / 270th Street. Look for Practical Farmers field day signs.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2014 field day season features 35 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend. The guide is available on Practical Farmers’ website, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a printed copy.

Practical Farmers’ 2014 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Calcium Products; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Gateway Market and Café; Grain Millers, Inc.; Grassland Oregon; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Cross Seed – Soil First; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Insurance Corporation; MOSA Organic Certification; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); National Wildlife Federation; Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.

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Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

Contact:

Alix and Mary Jane Paez | Genetic Enterprises International | (515) 865-8834 | [email protected]

Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]