Illinois is well-positioned to take advantage of global demand for non-GMO soybeans, says Mark Albertson director of strategic market development. Since 2010, between eight and 11 percent of soybean acres in Illinois have been planted with non-GMO soybeans, according to the USDA.
Albertson says three primary factors help Illinois lead the nation in non-GMO soybean production:
- First, Illinois has access to containers, which are used to ship IP soybeans to international customers. “Chicago container prices are the major advantage for Illinois when it comes to transportation costs,” confirms Albertson.
- Second, Illinois soybean farmers have access to soybean processors who crush non-GMO soybeans. One reason Illinois is so strong for non-GMO is because of its large non-GMO processing capacity, says Albertson who also runs SoybeanPremiums.org. Cargill in Bloomington, ADM in Decatur and Solae in Gibson City, Ill., are big players in that arena.
- Third, demand for non-GMO soybeans exists along grain terminals on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Albertson says the terminals fill barges for ocean-going vessels.
Adapted from Non-GMO Soybeans May Pay Dividends for Growers from the December 2014 issue of Illinois Field&Bean magazine. For more information on raising IP beans, visit soybeanpremiums.org.