MON810 Corn Area Hits New Record in the Iberian Peninsula

An Expert's View about Cereals, Leguminous Crops, Oil Seeds in Spain

Posted on: 21 Oct 2012

Spain remains the leading EU producer of GE corn with 116,307 ha planted in 2012.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 10/1/2012 GAIN Report Number: SP1234 Spain Post: Madrid MON810 Corn Area Hits New Record in the Iberian Peninsula Report Categories: Biotechnology - GE Plants and Animals Approved By: Robert Hanson - Agricultural Councilor Prepared By: Marta Guerrero and Diogo Machado - Agricultural Specialists Report Highlights: Spain remains the leading EU producer of GE corn with 116,307 ha planted in 2012, followed by Portugal with a 9,278 ha. These two countries account for over 90 percent of the total EU-27 area planted to MON810. In Spain and Portugal, the area planted to GE corn grew by 20 percent compared to previous year. An increased total area planted to corn along with farmers’ steady support of GE crops have resulted in record GE corn plantings in the Iberian Peninsula for the second consecutive year. General Information: Spain Statistical data recently released by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) show how total area planted to corn has grown by nearly 5 percent compared to last year, reaching 388,470 ha, up from 369,613 ha in 2011. While area planted to corn has remained fairly stable in most of the regions, it has experienced significant increases in Extremadura (24 percent), Andalucía (16 percent) and Castile-La Mancha (14 percent). At the same time, a new record has been set in terms of area planted to MON 810, estimated at 116,307 ha, which represents a 20 percent increase compared to 2011 data. Thus, based on current official estimates of total corn and Bt corn area, MON 810 would represent about 30 percent of total area planted to corn, the largest GE corn share since the beginning of its commercial cultivation in Spain. Estimated area planted to MON 810 is calculated by MAGRAMA assuming a planting density of 85,000 seeds per hectare, and since 2009, MAGRAMA data include not only corn varieties in the national register in the EU common catalogue, but also those varieties granted with a provisional authorization. Table 1. Total Corn and GM corn area by Region in Spain 2011 2012 Region Total Corn GM Corn Share Total Corn GM Corn Share area (ha) (ha) (%) area (ha) (ha) (%) Aragon 73,285 41,368 56 62,375 41,669 67 Catalonia 37,066 29,632 80 37,190 33,531 90 Extremadura 52,048 10,567 20 60,400 15,952 26 Navarra 13,672 4,096 30 17,095 5,801 34 Castile-La Mancha 34,607 5,817 17 39,727 7,883 20 Other Regions 158,935 5,847 4 171,683 11,471 7 Total 369,613 97,326 26 388,470 116,307 30 Source: FAS Madrid based on MAGRAMA data The increased acreage planted to Bt corn in Spain has not only taken place due to larger area planted to corn (5 percent increase), but also due to a significant increased use of GE corn varieties. This higher share of GE corn has been registered in both major and less traditional GE corn growing regions (Graph 1). Graph 1. GE corn area in Spain by Region Source: FAS Madrid based on MAGRAMA data Portugal Based on the farmers’ declarations to the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning (MAMAOT) and its own calculations, the National Association of Corn Growers (ANPROMIS) estimates total grain corn area to equal 140,723 ha in 2012 of which 91,678 ha planted with grain corn and 49,045 ha with silage corn. The area under grain corn is thought to have expanded by 4.5 percent which is considerable if we take into account that some irrigation zones were affected by the extreme drought that occurred in 2012. Farmers are thought to continue to react to the good relative prospects for this crop by increasing the area planted with grain corn. According to MAMAOT the area planted with Bt corn has also increased but by 20.1 percent to 9,278 ha (see Graph 2). According to local sources this reflects in part a precautionary approach by farmers planting corn for the first time in zones covered by the new Alqueva irrigation network, in the Alentejo region, where the corn stalk borer Sesamia spp. is endemic. The share of GE corn over the total area planted with corn in Portugal is now approximately 6.6 percent. Graph 2. GE corn area in Portugal by Region Source: FAS Madrid based on MAMAOT data Related Reports: Report Title Date Released Agriculture Biotechnology Annual – EU-27 9/10/2012 Agriculture Biotechnology Annual – Portugal 8/8/2012 Agriculture Biotechnology Annual – Spain 7/23/2012 MON810 Corn Area Reaches Record Level on the Iberian Peninsula 9/8/2011 These reports can be accessed through the FAS website:
Posted: 21 October 2012

See more from Cereals, Leguminous Crops, Oil Seeds in Spain

Expert Views    
Despite Winter Kill, A Rebound in EU-27 Rapeseed Production   By Foreign Agricultural Service
MON810 Corn Area Hits New Record in the Iberian Peninsula   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Agricultural Biotechnology Annual   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Grain in Spain – The Final Stretch   By Foreign Agricultural Service
Hot Tips    
Agricultural Sectors in Spain   By U.S. Commercial Service Poland