Non-GMO Soybeans: A Producers Perspective

by Austin Wippel, Sustainable Plant Systems major

I am a farmer of corn, soybeans, and wheat in South-Central Ohio. I raise several hundred acres of Non-GMO (non genetically modified) soybeans each year to support a local market in Jeffersonville, Ohio.

There is a growing demand for Non GMO products in the market place of the United States. Consumers are wanting foods that they see as healthier for them and foods labeled “Non GMO” are and will be there go to choice.

Is a Non GMO product really any better for the consumer or the environment though? As a grower of Non GMO soybeans, we do not treat the plants any differently in production than our GM soybeans. While we don’t spray Roundup to kill weeds, we simply use other chemicals to get the job done. Insect pests often infect our fields of Non GMO soybeans throughout the season which makes us apply insecticides to maintain yields. Our sprayer actually makes more passes on our Non GMO soybean fields than it does on our GM soybean fields.

I am a grower of Non GMO soybeans because it has allowed me to increase my profits per acre, period. I see nothing about the production practice of Non GMO that makes it any better for the consumer or the environment. I believe that the word “sustainable” would be a better mindset for both consumers and farmers in the near future.

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.