Chinese delegates are in Iowa discussing bio-technology in agriculture. The group of 20 Chinese agronomists, engineers and educators will take part in a series of workshops on Iowa science-based bio-technology standards.

Dave Miller is the Director of Research and Commodity Services for the Iowa Farm Bureau. Miller says China’s one of the largest buyers of U.S. soybeans, and also a “significant buyer” of our corn. He says we’re working with their Ministry of Agriculture and their scientific community to help them understand the regulatory processes we use for biotechnology. The goal’s to see that their process is developed in China to be compatible with what we do here.

Miller says bio-tech crops in Iowa make up 60-percent of the corn and 91-percent of the soybean acres planted. Miller says it’s a good opportunity to have Iowa at the forefront of this kind of “trade development activity,” showcasing the kind of agriculture we have in Iowa and helping people from the regulatory agencies of that country learn how we grow crops and do things here.

Miller’s telling them how bio-tech crops boosted Iowa farm income by 239-Million dollars and reduced reliance on pesticides. He says they’re planning more information -exchange opportunities to bring Chinese ag and trade experts to Iowa in the months to come.

The group was in Arlington, Virginia, last week and will be in Iowa through the end of this week. Their trip’s funded with 480-thousand dollars from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.