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Survey of 1,000 plus grain elevators shows 24 percent require GMO corn segregation, 12 percent offer premiums for non-transgenic corn

(Monday, Oct. 25, 2004 -- CropChoice news) --A new survey of one thousand, one hundred ninety-four (1,194) grain elevators across the United States, conducted by the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) Farmer Choice – Customer First program found that nearly one-quarter (23.7%) reported that they are requiring segregation of biotech corn from conventional corn varieties. Over twelve percent (12.6%) reported offering premiums for non-GMO, conventional corn varieties over GMO biotech varieties. The premiums reported range from five to thirty cents per bushel. Nine elevators reported that they are discounting GMO corn. Grain elevators were surveyed in the eighteen states of Ark., Colo., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Miss., Neb., N. D., Ohio, Pa., S. D., Texas and Wisc.. The telephone survey was conducted in August and September, after corn harvest had begun.

2004 ACGF Farmer Choice-Customer First Grain Elevator Survey Results Regarding GMO Corn Varieties

Results of Phone Survey On Specific Questions No. & % of Elevators

  • Grain Elevators Requiring Segregation of GMO Varieties 283 23.7%
  • Grain Elevators Requiring Segregation of GMO Varieties in 2003 302 25.3%
  • Grain Elevators Suggesting Segregation of GMO Varieties 3 -
  • Grain Elevators Requiring Farmers to Segregate GMO Varieties 279 23.4%
  • Grain Elevators Requiring Farmers to Schedule Delivery 193 16.2%
  • Grain Elevators Offering $.05 to $.30 Per Bushel Premiums for Non-GMO Corn 151 12.6%
  • Grain Elevators Discounting GMO Corn Varieties 9 -
  • Total Elevators Surveyed 1,194

"Apparently, nearly one-quarter of US grain elevators are trying to segregate GMO/biotech varieties from conventional corn, perhaps to maintain or regain domestic or foreign markets," said Dan McGuire, Director of the ACGF Farmer Choice – Customer First program. "That is understandable given the fact that the US only exported 1.9 billion bushels of corn in the marketing year that ended on Aug. 31, 2004 while USDA had projected 2.0 billion bushels of exports earlier this year. In fact, USDA baseline projections in 1997, after this current farm policy was enacted, projected that the U.S. would be exporting about 2.7 billion bushels of corn in the 2003/2004 marketing year that just ended. Clearly, the loss of export markets because of GMO varieties has had a year-over-year cumulative impact on US corn ending stocks (inventories). Combined with the record 2004 corn crop, those factors explain why corn prices were clear down to $1.56 per bushel in both S. D. and Iowa this past Friday."

*Record Corn Crop Together With Lower Prices = Less Gross Corn Income Per Acre On Average
2003/04 U.S. Average Corn Yield Per Acre 142.2 x $2.42 Average Price Per Bushel = $ 344.12 per acre
2004/05 U.S. Average Corn Yield Per Acre 158.4 x $1.95 Average Price Per Bushel = $ 308.80 per acre
Per Acre Income Drop…2003 to 2004 = $ 35.32 less per acre

*Source of yields and prices: U.S. Department of Agriculture WASDE-415-10 Report of October 12, 2004

ACGF Chairman Gale Lush of Wilcox, Neb. said, "I have seen some reports that biotech corn varieties are responsible for the record yield this year. I disagree! I plant both conventional and biotech corn varieties. The growing season and management, not biotech genetics, are primarily responsible for 2004 yields. Let us not forget that corn is piled on the ground across the Midwest. Even with the higher average corn yield, gross income per acre is $35.32 less than 2003 because of the lower average price of $1.95/bu. forecast this month by USDA. GMO corn helped cause lower prices by sending lucrative European and Asian corn customers to U.S. export competitors."

Contact: Dan McGuire (402) 489-1346 or Gale Lush (308) 478-5562