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GMO Animal Feed: Bio-Technology At Work

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Recently the use of GMO animal feed, or genetically modified animal feed, has hit the news here in southern Idaho.

With Whole Foods Market deciding to pull Chobani yogurt from their shelves because of GMO’S... How will it impact local diaries?

For this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho.

Joey martin for Idaho’s First News breaks down what exactly is GMO feed and the stigma behind it.

"So when you're talking GMO you're basically talking about bio–technology."

The news of Whole Foods Market phasing out Chobani yogurt from shelves has local dairy farmers scratching their heads.

But the use of bio–technology modified feeds has been a part of mainstream farming and ranching for decades.

And has basic roots in the longtime practice of cross pollination.

"by cross pollinating we would say we like what's going on in this variety of corn and we want to see it going on this type of corn... so you would use cross pollination. It's the same, it's just a new path... and pathway that's been developed in the last 2 to 3 decades in which its also occurring in the lab.... Where you're taking those special genes that you're looking for and you're splicing them into the plant that you want."
Said Bob Naerebout, Executive director of the Idaho Dairymen Assocaiation.

It all comes down to the production of the products we need.

As population grows the amount of land available to produce shrinks.

Making the need for bio–technology based foods even more important than ever.

"By increasing the yields we protect the environment... we protect the greenhouse gasses emission and lower it...especially as we know here in Idaho our limited water resources. So we grow more crops using fewer resources."
Said Naerebout.

But with that being said, why are so many weary of the use of these bio–tech feeds?

"People get nervous when you're talking about a lab...they're not nervous when you're talking about one plot of corn and you do cross pollination. But they do get nervous when you're talking about a lab. So I think a lot of it is just people not understanding the process, not understanding the value there is to it and speculating that there is negatives going on."

But how will this effect dairy farmers here in southern Idaho?

"Last week was the first week that they produced 250–thousand cases in one day in the plant here in twin Falls. And they anticipate looking forward that in the next year they will be at 500–thousand cases in the same time frame. So we don't anticipate it's going to have an impact at all on the demand of the milk supply here in Idaho."
Said Naerebout.

Farmers and ranchers doing what they can with the technology available.

Creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

From meats to potatoes and of course dairy… Southern Idaho’s farming community relies heavily on Bio-technology feeds and foods.

Its estimated By 2050 US Farms will need to produce 70% more food on ever decreasing resources.