January 18, 2022

Organics provide more options for farmers

‘Another market to lean on’

EL PASO, Ill. — Beck’s Hybrids added organic corn, soybeans and wheat to its portfolio nearly 20 years ago that it continues to grow, bolstered by increased consumer demand.

Dave Ross, Great Harvest Organics brand manager, said at the Beck’s Hybrids field day that organics provide more options for farmers.

“It’s a niche. It’s an opportunity. It’s a different piece of business. What we’re trying to do to you as a farmer is diversify your business. It’s important that you spread your risk. When corn goes back below $4, and it will, you’ve got another market to lean on. I can go to the organic market or I can go to the non-GMO market,” Ross said.

As with conventional seed, Great Harvest Organics has access to “all of the new hybrids and breeding technology that Beck’s has — new and elite genetics that’s important to you as farmers,” he added.

Organic and non-GMO corn hybrids include relative maturities ranging from 88 to 116 days and soybean varieties range from 1.9 to 4.2.

“We have genetic diversity and elite genetics. Food grade and test weights have been the premium that we lean on. The seed has premium quality,” said Ross, noting GMO tested at less than nine-tenths of a percent.

Among the other characteristics are the hybrids features “fast emergence and early growth.”

On the soybean side, Ross said Beck’s Hybrids is breeding organic varieties for disease tolerance, plant health and other characteristics.

The soybeans feature quick emergence and are bushy for fill-row that reduces cultivation and saves on labor.

Tom Doran

Tom Doran

Field Editor