by Heather Callaghan
November 23, 2013
Despite genetically modified corn comprising up to 90% of corn
crops in the United States, non GMO hybrid corn (often called
'conventional') has managed to hang on.
There appears to be a steady
rising market for non-GMO corn.
Spectrum Premium Non-GMO is an independent "genetic improvement"
seed company based in Indiana and selling non-GMO seed in most
states. They claim to have new and different hybrid genetics
technology but without the complications of genetic engineering -
and no GMO trait license agreements.
Head Sales Manager Roger Rudolph said:
In addition to competitive yield performance,
our aim is to exceed seed purity demands from grain producers as
well as grain users across the country who are trying to reach a
fast growing consumer market for food products derived from non-GMO
University of Illinois on their harvest showed a yield of 3-10 more
bushels of corn per acre compared to GM crops. Here is their
rundown from the trial run in Illinois.
They claim to offer farmers better costs and even have an
online calculator for cost savings.
These regional data summaries are evidence that
farmers now have the opportunity to lower input costs and
effectively increase profitability with the use of Non-GMO corn
Although, their news release didn't include
possible extra costs for more insecticides, say for corn rootworms,
the cost of extra insecticides for GMO farmers with
corn rootworms has been devastating.
They either lose their
crops, double douse, or in the case of superweeds revert back to old
agrarian methods, thus having to hire more help.
This cycle is a
very lucrative one for chemical companies that collude to produce
newer pesticides to combat the created problems. In other words,
they have their own profit cycle that feeds off the hamster wheel on
which large scale farmers can be trapped.
Through selective or conventional breeding techniques, researchers
in Japan showed that they could create rice that
yielded even greater amounts during droughts - without genetic
For all I know, this press release from
AgProfessional could be a sponsored post. Regardless, it does
show that it is possible for greater conventional improvement
without genetic engineering - and by people who previously worked
for Big Biotech. Can modern genetics technology be reconciled with
sustainable farming? Perhaps they see the changing market and are
getting ahead of the curve.
What does that say about the GMO-awareness tipping point?
In the absence of organic, conventional is your better bet - it
doesn't include the risks of GMOs including high amounts of
glyphosate. Find conventional at your
local farmers markets, stands, and co-ops.