I just contracted some non-GMO corn for a $0.45 premium for Mar 09 delivery. My thinking is I was going to grow this stuff for refuge anyway, despite my growing conviction that refuges are a temporary farce playing out until in-the-bag refuge is on sale in a couple (?) of years.
Still, right now this means a possible price of $4.70 for a hybrid that did just as well as the triple-stack next to it this fall. For a guy who will deliver some $2.60 corn* next spring it looks like all the money in the world.
Frankly, I was surprised by the premium, but it may not be enough. According to my source, guys are in love with GM numbers and feel the yield increase is to great to give up. Of course, they may also be umm, minimizing their refuge or at least not planting it in blocks to be more easily segregated.
One other factor. Most of us are wondering why we built so many 30' bins just a few years ago. Having a reason to use separate storage facilities at least makes me look a little less foolish.
All this is a market response to the ungrounded fears of GM technology. It points out the market places a very high price on verifiable truth, or at least extracts a huge price to ignore it.
I have read complaints about GM technology adoption here is handing $5 non-GM corn sales to Brazil. This is backwards thinking. The non-GMO premium is a growing indicator of the power of this technology and the rational decision by growers and users alike to utilize it. The thing to watch is how high that premium has to go to originate some corn (or put differently, pry the triple-stack bag out of growers hands) - and whether that number flies with consumers.
GM technology is as safe as other seed technology. The more crops we grow, the more data is accumulated, and the stronger the case for negligible odds of bad consequences. Other science observers are agreeing:
There can be little doubt that GM crops will be accepted worldwide in time, even in Europe. But in delaying cultivation, the anti-GM lobbies have exacted a heavy price. Their opposition has undermined agrobusiness in Europe and has driven abroad much research into plant biotechnology—an area in which Britain formerly excelled. Over-regulation may well cause the costs of the technology to remain higher than they need be. Above all, delay has caused the needless loss of millions of lives in the developing world. These lobbies and their friends in the organic movement have much to answer for. [More of a great article]I disagree that non-GM opponents have "much to answer for". There is no need for vindictiveness as the market sorts out winners. Taunting concerned consumers doesn't help change minds. The point is science is winning - in its usual non-exciting, blind-testing, peer-reviewed (yawn) way.
The best "revenge" against the anti-GMO forces is simply to move on with our work, maintaining the standards of scrupulous care for our work and world.
*Back in the day, I contracted in the Cargill grain bin program [to which I would gladly link, 'cept it's gated] and locked in at $2.60. It seemed like a good idea at the time. This is the last year of the 3-year agreement.
And I do have a berra, berra nice bin.