SOUTH AFRICA OPENS DOORS TO U.S. CORN
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that South Africa will accept corn imports from the United States, a new market worth about $75 million to U.S. farmers.
“This agreement is the result of five years of negotiations and science-based research that proved U.S. corn is not a pathway for diseases harmful to South African agriculture,” said Michael V. Dunn, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA.
South Africa had required that U.S. corn be crushed immediately after arrival because of concern about Stewart's wilt, a bacterial disease that affects sweet corn.
A study by Iowa State University and the University of Illinois showed that U.S. corn does not threaten South African agriculture.
U.S. farmers will be able to export corn from their 1999 harvests to South Africa and establish full contracts for the 2000 season starting this summer, the USDA said.
To ship their corn, U.S. exporters must obtain an import permit from South Africa and have corn inspected for flea beetles, a carrier of Stewart's wilt. Corn shipments must also have phytosanitary certificates.