American Corn Growers’ third annual survey shows more elevators requiring GMO segregation
Farm News from Cropchoice, USA, December 18, 2001
(Dec. 18, 2001 - CropChoice news) — In releasing the results of their
third annual survey of U.S. grain elevators, the American Corn Growers
Association (ACGA) reports that over half of the elevators surveyed are
requiring segregation of GMOs from non-GMO varieties either upon arrival at
the elevator or on the farm. Almost 20 percent reported offering premiums
for non-GMO corn or non-GMO soybeans. The survey included 1,149 grain
elevators in 11 mid-western states.
"The results of our survey clearly show the increasing level of concern
that grain elevators have regarding their ability to meet the needs of
foreign buyers and hold on to export customers," said Larry Mitchell, CEO
of the ACGA.
"U.S. corn acres planted to GMO varieties dropped from about 25 million in
1999 to approximately 16.4 million in 2001, at least partly reflecting
marketing and other concerns that farmers have related to GMOs," said Dan
McGuire, program director of the ACGA Farmer Choice - Customer First
program. "The burden of on-farm segregation, combined with the premiums
being offered for conventional, non-GMO varieties, together with the
realization that GMOs are jeopardizing export markets, are apparently
becoming stronger incentives."
McGuire added, "This latest ACGA elevator survey only reinforces the
findings of our random national, producer survey results released this past
July. Of the producers surveyed, 78 percent stated that it is important or
very important to consider the concerns of U.S. consumers and foreign
markets when deciding what varieties to plant ; 74 percent of the corn
farmers surveyed stated that the rejection of GMO corn and soybeans by
foreign countries is contributing to low commodity prices ; and 78 percent
said they are willing to plant non-GMO corn varieties instead of biotech
GMO varieties in order to keep customers satisfied and world markets open
to U.S. corn."
The ACGA elevator survey was conducted during the fall of 2001 in Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska,
Ohio, and South Dakota. It shows 276 elevators requiring segregation, 70
strongly suggesting segregation, 310 requiring on-farm segregation, 286
requiring farmers to schedule their delivery of grain in advance, and 206
offering premiums for non-GMO corn or soybeans. The premiums reported
ranged from 5 cents to 35 cents per bushel.
The survey was conducted as part of the ACGA’s Farmer Choice Customer
First education program, which provides information regarding the issues,
connected to planting, harvesting and marketing GMOs.