A growing number of farmers are abandoning genetically modified seeds, but it’s not because they are ideologically opposed to the industry. They are switching back to non- GMO crops because they are more productive and profitable (Modern Farmer, January 2014). The re-converts to non-GMO seeds are not hippies but conservative Midwestern farmers making a business decision. GMO seeds cost more, and sell for less on the global market. For example, grain dealer Clarkson Grain pays farmers an extra two dollars per bushel for non-GMO soybeans and an additional one dollar per bushel for non-GMO corn. Furthermore, the GMO seeds are not working as well as they did originally. “Five years ago the [GMO seeds] worked,” said farmer Christ Huegerich, who along with his father planted GMO seeds. “I didn’t have corn rootworm because of the Bt gene, and I used less pesticide. Now, the worms are adjusting, and the weeds are resistant. Mother Nature adapts.” Today, over sixty million acres of cropland in the U.S. are plagued by weeds that are resistant to the popular glyphosate herbicides. Spectrum Seed Solutions president Scott Odle thinks that non-GMO corn could be 20 percent of the market in five years. The free market could very well spell the end of GMO seeds—the best news we have heard in a long time!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2014.