If a Roundup Ready variety of soybeans might cost $65 to $70 a bag, and conventional, non-GMO varieties are $30 to $35 a bag, you would think farmers would be eschewing GMO beans. An agronomist with the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas is planting nine non-GM soybeans on his test plots, four developed by the University. Here’s why. . .
U of A has been expanding its research into non-GMO soybean varieties because the cost to produce GM soybeans is rising, and the price a farmer can fetch for them once he harvests is falling.
Meanwhile, GM commodity prices are increasingly taking a beating as consumers in the US and other countries refuse to eat genetically modified food.
Agronomist Jeremy Ross began his trials last year. He planted the four soybean varieties developed by U of A along with two publicly-developed varieties, one from Virginia Tech and another from the University of Tennessee.
The first year’s trials were small because of the scarcity of seed, but this year, he had enough seed to grow conventional, non-GM soybeans varieties in five counties:
“…Lafayette County in southwest Arkansas, White and Prairie counties near the center of the state, Clay County in northeastern Arkansas and Crittenden County on the Mississippi River.”