Without a doubt, non-GMO agriculture, ingredients and food products have received a lot of attention lately. In March, Mintel, a market research company, shared that newly launched products have increasingly used a non-GMO or GMO-free claim.
In fact, the Mintel data suggest that non-GMO claim use has increased quickly. For context, 15.7 percent of new U.S. products made a non-GMO or GMO-free claim in 2015 compared with just 1.9 percent in 2009, according to the Mintel data.
Food companies need an expanding, reliable ingredient supply to develop and produce non-GMO products, and the agriculture industry has started to respond. We at BigYield.us® view non-GMO crop production as a real opportunity. Producers willing to invest in non-GMO production practices position themselves to participate in a growing market that values high-quality ingredients and food products.
The Farm Research CenterTM in Garden City, Mo., which serves as the chief research location where we test our BigYield.us products, has committed to non-GMO crop production. As an example, corn trials at The Farm Research Center in 2016 will only use non-GMO seed, whereas The Farm Research Center had also conducted GMO corn tests in previous years. Non-GMO research work will also extend to other crops including soybeans.
With a corn research program specializing in seed that lacks GMO traits, The Farm Research Center will create a pure environment for its corn trials. In other words, the risk for pollen drift between GMO and non-GMO corn hybrids is lower. The non-GMO focus for corn research also enables BigYield.us to further its understanding of production practices and methods that drive yields for non-GMO producers.
Several of our customers have expressed interest in growing non-GMO corn. AgWeb recently published the below story about transitioning to non-GMO corn. It offers insights that producers should consider if they elect to go non-GMO for corn production. Namely, producers should expect to invest more resources in scouting and managing non-GMO corn fields than would be required when growing GMO corn.
For more information about The Farm Research Center’s research program or growing non-GMO corn, contact us anytime.