Should You Go Non-GMO?

September 16, 2010 08:44 AM
Should You Go Non-GMO?

You know you’ve got something special going when you can pull farmers out of the field for a meeting during harvest. Growers and end users who attended the eMerge Genetics field days this week got more than a free lunch and seed cap. They got an inside look at a company focused on bringing nonGMO soybean varieties and corn hybrids back to the field.

Wayne Hoener, Vice President of Sales, says eMerge Genetics is more than just a seed company. “Our story is different. Beyond selling primarily nonGMO seed, we’re also concentrating on how can we make this grain better?
“We’re not just a seed company, we’re more of a food and feed ingredient company,” he adds.
Toward that end, eMerge works with the grower customer to help secure contracts with end users, grain originators and delivery points.”
Interest in non-GMO corn and soybeans is heating up as growers look to add extra value on to each bushel. For example, he notes that overall soybean protein levels in commodity soybeans have been declining since the 1980’s. This has pushed eMerge to breed for high protein soybean varieties. Some new products in the pipeline contain 44% to 45% protein (compared to traditional 40%) and still show strong plant defense and high yield potential.
Weed resistance issues are also adding to the allure. “Growers are already looking to residual herbicides to help clean up fields,” says Hoener. “Why not go one step further and capture an added premium for going non-GMO.”
While other seed companies offer a handful of hybrids and varieties in this category, eMerge is unique in breeding and distributing seed without transgenic traits. Growers have come to know the brand as it relates to soybeans over the past few years, but the company will also offer seven non-GMO corn hybrids for 2011 planting with relative maturity range from 105 to 115 days.
Listen in as Hoener talks about the movement to nonGMO products.
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