I am still in the middle of working on Tecnon OrbiChem’s Bio-materials newsletter, but I cannot resist posting this interesting report about the USDA AMS’s launch of its first weekly report on prices for non-GMO corn and soybeans. According to news sources, the non-GMO feed corn is reportedly selling for significantly more than the conventional engineered versions. The report had no prices as of yet for food-grade corn.
The non-GMO feed grade yellow corn average price as of September 23 has been reported at around $3.69-3.93/bushel, and around $4/bushel in early September. This is compared to December corn futures trading at $3.79-3.83/bushel reported this month. Non-GMO yellow soybeans were quoted at a cash price range of around $9.64-9.89/bushel, and yellow soybeans futures for November contract delivery are quoted at around $8.84-8.64/bushel.
The report could attract more market for non-GMO grain and in turn, encourage farmers to transition to organic. The information is based from an undisclosed number of elevators. AMS doesn’t release the number of entities whose trade data have been used in compiling the report citing confidentiality concerns. At least three trades from three separate entities are required in order for AMS to list an average price for a commodity.
One of the impediments of non-GMO products is getting producers to switch over because of the lack of reliable market information in terms of pricing. According to new sources, Congress is currently debating legislation that would pre-empt state labeling laws for biotech crops and set up a USDA-run program for regulating non-GMO labeling.
In May, food ingredient producer, SunOpta, became the first food manufacturing facility in the US to be approved for a process verified program for non-GMO products.
Now, GMO-based ag feedstock is not much of a concern it seems in most chemical industrial applications especially in the US, but every time I attend a renewable chemicals conference, sooner or later the topic of GMO seem to always comes up.