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Celebrating with Farm Bureau as they begin their Centennial year by receiving a proclamation from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.


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Gene Flow Research Sets the Standards for Biotech Alfalfa

Gene Flow Research Sets the Standards for Biotech Alfalfa

Gene Flow Research Sets the Standards for Biotech Alfalfa

California is the largest producer of alfalfa seed in the US with production centered in Fresno, Kings, and Imperial Counties. The seed is used to plant alfalfa hay fields to support dairy, beef, horse, sheep, and goat industries worldwide. When genetically engineered alfalfa was released in 2005, concern arose over its impact on sensitive markets, specifically export and organic markets for alfalfa seed and hay. This concern resulted in a lawsuit that has restricted new plantings of biotech alfalfa.
The industry needed to find a way to produce biotech alfalfa while not interfering with the production and marketing of conventional varieties. In a collaborative study,Shannon Mueller has quantified the movement of genes from genetically engineered alfalfa to conventional fields. Results from their research were used by the National Alfalfa and Forage Association to design a stewardship program for biotech alfalfa production. This plan will allow the alfalfa seed industry to remain viable in Fresno County. All growers have a choice; they can choose to produce biotech alfalfa while neighboring growers can produce seed or hay for markets that restrict the presence of biotech genes.

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The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) is a statewide network of campus based Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and Cooperative Extension specialists located on the Berkeley, Davis and Riverside campuses working collaboratively with county-based Cooperative Extension advisors located in 50 county offices throughout the state.



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