Planting time is just around the corner for our nation's corn growers. But before finalizing seed purchases, the National Corn Growers Association recommends farmers research their marketing opportunities because not all hybrids are approved for all export market uses. Consulting NCGA's Know Before You Grow database can assist growers in indentifying the export and marketing implications of each corn hybrid before they're committed to the ground.

"U.S. farmers are growing for an international marketplace, so it's important for growers to keep track of the opportunities and challenges of marketing corn overseas," said Chad Blindauer, chairman of NCGA's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. "Know Before You Grow has become an important educational tool for our growers, and fits perfectly with our mission of creating and increasing opportunities for our famers."

For 2011, corn growers planting biotech seed have more choices than ever before. And there is no end in sight for the industry's trend towards producing and refining all-in-one power performing seeds. In cooperation with the nation's leading seed companies, NCGA has designed a database to help make seed purchase decisions as comprehensive and convenient a process as possible. This database lists nearly 3,000 seed products based on biotech traits and their approval status by Japan and the EU. Of the registered hybrid traits in the database, 2,905 have been approved in Japan, 2,262 for food and feed use in the EU or just for feed use in the EU. This tool is respected and used worldwide by governments and the industry on a regular basis.

Growers should continue to read their grower agreements before planting and communicate with their grain buyers if they are unsure of any new regulations. For hybrids not fully approved for all export markets, there are still channels available. The key is to know before you grow, so growers can channel hybrids not fully approved for all export markets to elevators accepting them, into their own livestock rations, or domestic livestock feeding channels.

Click here for the Know Before You Grow database.