Friday, February 3, 2012

Non GMO Premiums

The Asian and other markets are bidding up premiums for non Genetically Modified Organism grain again. We have had to get the calculator back out after teaching the resistant weed message all winter.

Currently, local farmers are able to contract non GMO corn for 50-70 cents per bushel premium and $1 to $1.80 for soybeans. Since we have to use a residual anyway, this makes non GMO crop production more attractive.

A friend put it this way, if I can sell 150 bushel corn for the same gross income as higher yielding, higher input corn, it is less risk for me to plant non GMO this year. I see what he is thinking. We can't always hit 200 bushel corn or 70 bushel soybeans like we did this year and if we can do it with less inputs, it is more profitable, as simple as that.

A business contact wants me to put together a group of local farmers to meet with his non GMO soybean buyer face to face so they have some comfort in considering this option before they sign the contracts. Today it looks like February 24 may work in Wilmington, Ohio after teaching planter setups in Indiana the two days before that.

The problem is we know how well the RR and LL soybeans we have been planting will perform and not as sure about the new soybean varieties he is promoting to fill the contracts. Fortunately, I did test his seed in 2010 and I couldn't find less performance than the non GMO Jacob variety I tested them against.

Jacob is a high yielding local non GMO variety from the cross of Ohio Stressland with a Delta Pine and Land variety. I know what it is and scout it every summer for seed.

I am already non GMO corn and not concerned about yield on it. I know what I am dealing with but bringing other farmers in the fold on the soybean deal changes things.

I don't want to mislead anyone. We are only looking at the opportunity.

What are you planting in your fields and gardens this year?



  1. I wonder how stringent they are on testing for gmo in the supposedly non gmo crops? Since the Triffid debacle in flax we have had to get our flax tested before we can sell it to assure that it has no GM Triffid flax seeds in the sample. I think its much ado about nothing but as usual, the customer decides what they want to eat and what we will grow.

  2. I have heard of problems and have had loads rejected when I messed up, Ralph. That is the downside of Non GMO, identity preservation and keeping it that way all the way to the shipping point. I am probably batting 90% since I started delivering for premium.

  3. We planted non-GMO alfalfa for marketing reasons but now hay prices are high enough it may have been a bad decision. I would like to plant non-GMO silage corn but it is hard to find the old good yielding varieties.
    The proliferation of GMO has really made some nice niche markets however, the big evil company seems to have bought up and discontinued the best non-GMO corn seed companies.

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