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 sources.
Testing from 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 hybrids.
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 engineering.
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.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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