China’s hard line on biotech burns U.S. hay

China’s tough new stance on imports of genetically modified crops is shaking up a little-noticed U.S. industry: hay. Over the summer China began testing imports to detect the presence of hay made from a biotech alfalfa that Beijing hasn’t approved. Consequently, shipments to China have plunged since midsummer and some deliveries have been rejected. China’s actions are a sharp blow for shippers of hay, which is produced from alfalfa and other grassy plants and is the fourth-largest U.S. crop by acreage, and valued at $20 billion a year. U.S. hay prices also have fallen about 12%, in part because the reduced Chinese demand boosted domestic supplies. <more>

Dec. 15, 2014 The Wall Street Journal