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GMO Answers: How One Farmer Decides Which Seeds are Best for His Farm

May 24, 2016
When it comes to GMOs, you’ll hear a lot of arguments about why they are “bad” and should be avoided. Some of these claims are health-related, others about environmental sustainability. And, some make incorrect claims about farmers’ ability to choose the seeds they grow on their farms, alleging that seed companies lock farmers into contracts and force them to buy specific products.

Most people might learn about seeds in a grade school science class, but they may not understand where the seeds actually came from – kind of like people buying healthy, nutritious food at the grocery store and not understanding how the food got there. Few really know how farmers manage their farms, and there’s a lot of misinformation about farmers and seed choice on the internet.

In his new article for GMO Answers on Forbes.com, Indiana farmer Brian Scott explains how he chooses the corn and soybean seeds for his farm, including GMO seeds. There are a lot of factors farmers take into consideration when purchasing seeds, and farmers choose the seeds and other inputs that are best for their farm and the environment. Brian also contradicts the claim that seed companies control his decision-making, stating that he’s “not locked into buying seed from one company from one season to the next.”

Brian also explains why he chooses not to save his seeds from one year to the next. He writes, “I grow mostly corn and soybeans. Saving seed from corn is something not really done anymore, and it has been that way for decades because pretty much all field corn is hybrid corn. The harvest of a hybrid corn plant won’t produce seed genetically identical to the parent plant. So since I don’t know exactly what the genetics are in that new seed, I don’t want to plant it next year. I should add that just about all corn grown today is hybrid corn because it performs much better than inbred corn.”

Brian concludes, “What I do need to do is make decisions that are best for my farm, and follow the Integrated Pest Management guidelines (which I get in the mail from each seed company every season) to properly steward traits and technologies that come with my seeds. I would do that without a contract, because that’s just called being a good farmer.”

Read Brian’s full article on Forbes.com and to learn more about GMOs, visit GMO Answers.