E-mail this article to
yourself or a friend.
Enter address:


A farmer sounds off on his experience with GM soybeans

(February 14, 2001 -- Cropchoice) --

Dear Cropchoice:

I have been offered $1.25 a bushel over market for 100% pure non-GMO soybeans of certain varieties that happen to be popular in my area.

This contract is being offered through a local grain elevator near Fargo, ND. I thought it sounded too good to be true. I immediately went to work to purchase at least 1 of these varieties. I then learned the disappointing news. Not 1 of the seed companies could guarantee non-GMO purity. In fact, one of the seed dealers actually laughed at me when I told him I needed the seed to be certified as 100% pure non-GMO. He told that would be impossible and that he didn't think any seed company selling soybean seed today would attempt or be able to make such a guarantee. The buyer offering the contract later told me he realizes this problem. He was simply stating that this market offering the premium was an Asian market and that was the price that he could offer me if I could supply the non-GMO crop.

Up here in North Dakota, we have essentially only been growing GMO soybeans commercially for 2 years and already it appears nearly all varieties are too contaminated for some markets. As if things weren't bad enough in farming today, now we have this mess--limited markets and government bailouts to farmers.

All this so the big biotech seed companies can continue to develop and sell more seeds that are resistant to their own chemicals. In my opinion, paying 5 times as much for soybean seed as compared to binrun (saved) seed, then raising a crop that yields less than non-GMO varieties and then finally selling that crop at a discount at the elevator on top of having the whole market depressed due to the GMO issue doesn't pencil out very good on my farm.

I would think that the taxpayers in this country would not stand for this much longer.

Rodney Nelson
Amenia, ND