WASHINGTON/PRNewswire/ — In releasing the results of their third annual survey of U.S. grain elevators, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) reports that over half of the elevators surveyed are requiring segregation of GMOs from non-GMO varieties either upon arrival at the elevator or on the farm. Almost 20 percent reported offering premiums for non-GMO corn or non-GMO soybeans. The survey included 1,149 grain elevators in 11 mid-western states.

“The results of our survey clearly show the increasing level of concern that grain elevators have regarding their ability to meet the needs of foreign buyers and hold on to export customers,” said Larry Mitchell, CEO of the ACGA.

“U.S. corn acres planted to GMO varieties dropped from about 25 million in 1999 to approximately 16.4 million in 2001, at least partly reflecting marketing and other concerns that farmers have related to GMOs,” said Dan McGuire, program director of the ACGA Farmer Choice – Customer First program. “The burden of on-farm segregation, combined with the premiums being offered for conventional, non-GMO varieties, together with the realization that GMOs are jeopardizing export markets, are apparently becoming stronger incentives.”

McGuire added, “This latest ACGA elevator survey only reinforces the findings of our random national, producer survey results released this past July. Of the producers surveyed, 78 percent stated that it is important or very important to consider the concerns of U.S. consumers and foreign markets when deciding what varieties to plant; 74 percent of the corn farmers surveyed stated that the rejection of GMO corn and soybeans by foreign countries is contributing to low commodity prices; and 78 percent said they are willing to plant non-GMO corn varieties instead of biotech GMO varieties in order to keep customers satisfied and world markets open to U.S. corn.”

The ACGA elevator survey was conducted during the fall of 2001 in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota. It shows 276 elevators requiring segregation, 70 strongly suggesting segregation, 310 requiring on-farm segregation, 286 requiring farmers to schedule their delivery of grain in advance, and 206 offering premiums for non-GMO corn or soybeans. The premiums reported ranged from 5 cents to 35 cents per bushel.

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The survey was conducted as part of the ACGA’s Farmer Choice – Customer First education program, which provides information regarding the issues, connected to planting, harvesting and marketing GMOs.

For more information on the survey, check the ACGA website at http://www.acga.org .

SOURCE: American Corn Growers Association