Remember the Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade traited corn developed and released by Syngenta a number of years ago? The traits were approved for use in the United States but not in China. The traited corn was planted by some farmers in the United States and then was detected in a shipment of corn to China. China promptly canceled corn purchases from the United States and we saw a sharp drop in corn prices here. In response there were lawsuits filed against Syngenta with most rolled into a class action lawsuit. There was no question about the performance of the traits protecting the corn from above and below ground insects, they were just not approved yet in China.

The court approved a settlement of around $1.51 billion dollars that would be paid to farmers, ethanol plants, elevators and other grain handling facilities that had "owned interest in corn priced for sale during the period."  This year more than $475 million of claims were paid to over 135,000 "successful claimants." The U.S. District Court of Kansas claims administrator filed a motion for the final disbursement to 194,186 claims that total around $390 million. The checks "are expected to be sent out on or around December 30, 2020. Maybe there will be a late Christmas present from some farmers?

I remember the day the news hit about China finding the "illegal" traits in a corn shipment and canceling their corn purchases. I said on the air with Gordy China must not need the corn and when they do they will be able to buy the U.S. corn much cheaper. A couple months later China approved the traits and was back buying U.S. corn. I also see some irony in that the parent company that owns Syngenta is from China. If I remember correctly that purchase of Syngenta was made after the class action lawsuit. Soon after China approved the traits but that is a topic for another day.

 

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