He had seed corn in his what?
Unbeknownst to them, the FBI had placed GPS tracking devices on their cars and trailed them as they stopped at Iowa and Missouri cornfields to pick ears and at seed dealers to get bags of seed. The six, some of whom are not yet in custody, had been under the surveillance of customs agents. One was detained at Miami on his way back to China, and was caught with seed corn in his luggage.
Seed corn in his luggage. Not military secrets. Not fissionable nuclear material. Seed corn.
These foiled plots illustrate the value of the seed that is planted across the Cornbelt, particularly in a hungry world. And it answers why the Chinese have been rejecting shiploads of corn, which has been in retaliation for the discovery of the agricultural espionage. The impact last week pushed the corn market down about 10 cents. The victim of that was not Pioneer, nor Monsanto, but only the farmer who is reading this and now knows why the value of his corn eroded.
And farm policy critics wonder why agriculture needs a safety net.
- Argentina seeks to export more food to sanction-hit Russia
- Ag markets proved decidedly mixed again Tuesday
- China's carbon plans: secrecy and oversupply darken outlook
- Russian sanctions threaten both Europe's farmers and policymakers
- Ag markets are decidedly mixed at midsession Tuesday
- California’s drought worst since at least 1895
- Suspected Bt corn rootworm resistance in Pennsylvania
- No El Niño in 2014? Drought-weary California in trouble
- BioNitrogen to build second fertilizer plant in Texas
- Soybean aphid numbers on the rise
- Commentary: Setting the record straight on 'Waters of the U.S.'
- FCC aims to offer high-speed internet to rural America