Modern Farmer

The Post-GMO Economy

One mainstream farmer is returning to conventional seed — and he’s not alone

By Elizabeth Royte on December 6, 2013

Still, winning converts to conventional corn can be an uphill slog. Post-harvest, farmers face a barrage of TV and print ads touting the latest seed technology. There’s a subtler psychology at work, too. Farmers have close relationships with their seed dealers, who often live nearby and keep them company at local baseball games, PTA meetings or church. “You can’t break up with them,” Bloom says, noting that seed dealers work on commission. DuPont Pioneer, for example, offers him a non-GMO corn for $180 a bag, while Wyffels Hybrids sold the same for $115 a bag last year.

Why does Pioneer charge so much? Because it doesn’t want lower-priced conventional seed to lure customers away from GMOs. Bloom says a company dealer confessed: “We don’t want our farmers to buy it.”
Arty turns 11 this summer.