The abrupt expansion of corn into new areas affects more than just markets. It changes the suburban pest population as well.
Residents like von Saldern are building stronger fences because boar can push under normal chain-link barriers unless they are anchored to the ground.
The mortality rate among boar, which have few natural predators, is dropping because of milder winters, Holstein said. At the same time, the increased corn crop is providing them with a ready banquet.
``There's too much food,'' said Willi Kuhlmann, 72, a retired forester from Tauer, 60 miles southeast of Berlin, while sitting in his study surrounded by boar tusks and deer antlers. ``The sows now have two litters of piglets a year.''
In Brandenburg, the amount of land planted in corn quadrupled from 1989 to 2006, reaching 509,000 hectares last year, said Jens-Uwe Schade, a spokesman for the state's Ministry for Rural Development and Environment.
Most of the crop supplies Brandenburg's 80 biogas plants, Schade said. In 2004, the federal government passed a law to promote alternative energy, and Brandenburg state has approved construction of 72 more plants. [More]
The expansion of corn acres across the EU is another reason the non-GMO premium could widen. Of course, as it does, the pressure to accept GM corn will intensify. Funny how economics can eventually bring people around to scientific solutions.
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