An Iowa State University researcher will plant some special corn today in a quarter-acre of land near Middletown. Lisa Lorenzen of the ISU’s Provost’s office says it’s called biopharmaceutical corn. She says it’s a corn engineered with a special protein that helps prevent pigs from getting diarrhea. Lorenzen says most important step of the field trial is to show that you can produce a “high-value” product. She says as part of that you have to choose a specific project and the special corn is the project she chose. Lorenzen says they’ll do a feeding trial as part of the project to see if you can feed the corn to the pigs, or take the protein out and feed it to the pigs to get the same benefit. The special nature of the project required approval from the US Ag Department. Lorenzen says they also have to take steps to keep the corn pollen from spreading. She says they’ll have several measures to prevent cross pollination. The corn plot is also over one mile away from the nearest corn plot and is being planted 28 days after the other corn plots. She says they will also hand pollinate the corn. Lorenzen says this is the third year they’ve planted this type of corn — and it’s the largest plot planted thus far.
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