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Deciding between GMO and non-GMO seeds? Two farmers weigh pros and cons of each

| | July 21, 2017
corn
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[in 2015] Minnesota farmer Pat Duncanson switched 95% of his corn acres to non-GMO crops. His motivation was to save about $50 per acre. However, Duncanson learned non-GMO doesn’t fit every acre.

[In 2017] he made changes to where he plants traits.

If you’re considering non-GMO, compare how much you’ll save on seed and any added pesticide costs with the difference in seed price for traited corn, he says.

Despite the upfront financial benefits, he learned field conditions and management practices dictate non-GMO success.

“There are instances, like with cover crops, where we need herbicide tolerance to terminate them,” Duncanson says. “In no-till or cover crops, we definitely plant traited products for weed control.”

After more than a decade of chasing non-GMO premiums, Indiana farmer Chris Campbell is planting all traited corn and soybeans now.

It was a hard change after planting 100% non-GMO—the first biotech seed bill after switching hurt. “We spend $30,000 more on seed, or about $26 per acre more,” he says.

He was pleasantly surprised when he saw his herbicide bill, though. “I’m spending about $18 per acre on herbicides,” Campbell says. “When we planted non-GMO corn it was closer to $28 per acre.” 

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Strike the Balance of Biotech and Non-GMO

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