Biotech acres of soybeans continue to rise steadily each year. But growers in the Grand Forks area of northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota have the opportunity to capture premiums above local commodity market prices for growing traditional, non-biotech varieties of soybeans.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is seeking growers to adhere to Identify Preserved (IP) quality standards and serve the needs of customers who demand these products.
ASA farmer-leaders and staff recently participated in a planning meeting in East Grand Forks, Minn., with representatives of Farmers Elevator Company of Honeyford, N.D., Thompsons Limited of Ontario, Canada, and BASF Corporation to discuss the best ways to tailor this export program to the areaâ€™s production and delivery systems. During the next 30 to 60 days, Honeyford will be offering qualified growers an Identity-Preserved soybean premium contract for a specified number of production acres in 2005.
Honeyford General Manager Kevin Peach says, "With world demand increasing for â€˜non-GMOâ€™ soybeans, we anticipate there will be a greater need for more growers of value-added products and more Identity Preserved soybean acres every year. Honeyford has successfully marketed IP soybeans for several years now, so we have a well-tested system in place that we know works for us, for our growers, and for our customers."
Producers in the Grand Forks area are encouraged to contact ASA toll-free at 1-800-944-7692 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time to request a free information packet containing program details and requirements.
BASF Corporation, a strong partner to the farming industry and a leader in crop protection fungicides, insecticides and herbicides, has partnered with the ASA on previous initiatives designed to meet customer needs by increasing production of U.S. produced IP soybeans. BASF is sponsoring this program, and will have its crop protection representatives team with Honeyford agronomists to provide participating growers with customized plant protection programs.
ASA President Neal Bredehoeft says ASA's role in this program is to help make producers aware of a potential revenue producing opportunity that involves the production and marketing of traditional soybean varieties. "Other cooperatives, elevators and grain processors are also welcome to contact us about opportunities they may offer to enhance grower profitability."