Survey shows only 1/4 of U.S. grain elevators segregating GMO corn

October 25, 2004 -- CropChoice news: A new survey of 1,194 grain elevators across the United States found that nearly one-quarter (23.7%) reported that they are requiring segregation of biotech corn from conventional corn varieties. Over twelve percent (12.6%) reported offering premiums for non-GMO, conventional corn varieties over GMO biotech varieties. The premiums reported range from five to thirty cents per bushel. Nine elevators reported that they are discounting GMO corn.

The phone survey conducted by the American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF) Farmer Choice – Customer First program included elevators in eighteen states. Operators in Ark., Colo., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Miss., Neb., N. D., Ohio, Pa., S. D., Texas and Wisc. were contacted between August and September, after corn harvest had begun.

2004 ACGF Farmer Choice-Customer First Grain Elevator Survey Results Regarding GMO Corn Varieties

Results of 2004 phone survey
on elevators handling of GMO varieties
No. %
Grain elevators requiring segregation of GMO varieties 283 23.7%
Grain elevators requiring segregation of GMO varieties in 2003 302 25.3%
Grain elevators suggesting segregation of GMO varieties 3  
Grain elevators requiring farmers to segregate GMO varieties 279 23.4%
Grain Elevators Requiring Farmers to Schedule Delivery 193 16.2%
Grain Elevators offering $.05 to $.30 per bushel premiums for non-GMO corn 151 12.6%
Grain elevators discounting GMO corn varieties 9  
Total Elevators Surveyed 1194  


"Apparently, nearly one-quarter of US grain elevators are trying to segregate GMO/biotech varieties from conventional corn, perhaps to maintain or regain domestic or foreign markets," said Dan McGuire, Director of the ACGF Farmer Choice – Customer First program. "That is understandable given the fact that the US only exported 1.9 billion bushels of corn in the marketing year that ended on Aug. 31, 2004 while USDA had projected 2.0 billion bushels of exports earlier this year. In fact, USDA baseline projections in 1997, after this current farm policy was enacted, projected that the U.S. would be exporting about 2.7 billion bushels of corn in the 2003/2004 marketing year that just ended. Clearly, the loss of export markets because of GMO varieties has had a year-over-year cumulative impact on US corn ending stocks (inventories). Combined with the record 2004 corn crop, those factors explain why corn prices were clear down to $1.56 per bushel in both S. D. and Iowa this past Friday."

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