By Candace Pollock
Ohio State University Extension
COLUMBUS, Ohio – When it comes to a rapid adoption of transgenic corn hybrids across the Midwest, Ohio growers appear to be bucking the trend and holding more tightly onto their non-GMO hybrids.
Though far more transgenic hybrids are available to growers than non-GMO (genetically modified organism) hybrids, Ohio growers are snatching up non-GMO seed and planting more non-GMO acres than their Midwest counterparts, including Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.
Some reasons, said Ohio State University Extension agronomist Peter Thomison, include economics, premiums, and fewer pest problems.
“Most of these growers are looking at non-GMO from an economic standpoint. It’s less costly to buy non-GMO seed. In addition, we don’t have as much of a problem with insect pests, like the first-year rootworm variant, as states further west do,” said Thomison. “Growers also like non-GMO hybrids to take advantage of premiums for non-GMO grain. In addition, farmers who grow their crop organically are required to plant non-GMO hybrids.”
Ohio has more non-transgenic corn acreage than any other state in the Corn Belt. Nearly 30 percent of the acreage is non-transgenic, while in other Midwest states, it’s typically less than 20 percent.
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