By TIM HEARDEN
Idaho sugar beet growers have begun to receive the USDA-mandated training required as a condition for planting Roundup Ready beets.
A large gathering of growers attended a training session Tuesday in Idaho's Magic Valley, and the Snake River Sugar Cooperative is offering the sessions online, said Duane Grant, the co-op's board chairman.
Growers who receive the instructions and get their compliance agreements signed may receive seed and begin planting, Grant said.
Companies have delivered Roundup Ready seed to distribution points throughout the co-op area, and some growers may begin planting as early as today or Wednesday, he said.
Rain has delayed farmers' ability to plant until now, and growers and seed companies have also been wading through an extensive list of USDA requirements for handling and planting the biotech seeds and growing the root crop.
Regulations have been put in place under the jurisdiction of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as a result of ongoing litigation.