Non-GMO corn produces competitive yields with GM corn in Ohio tests

Published: January 26, 2017
Issue:
A test of corn growth performance in Ohio found that non-GMO corn produced yields that were competitive with genetically modified corn varieties, which is counter to biotechnology industry claims that GM crops produce higher yields than non-GMO.

According to Dr. Peter Thomison, Ohio State University corn specialist, some Ohio corn growers want to grow non-GMO corn to take advantage of premiums offered for non-GMO. Other farmers want to grow GM corn with fewer GM traits to reduce seed costs. Some farmers, particularly those that haven’t experienced insect problems with rootworm or corn borer and have controlled weeds effectively with traditional herbicides are questioning the need for GM corn hybrids.

Ohio farmers wanted to know whether non-GMO corn seed or corn with fewer GM traits can produce yields that compete with corn with multiple or “stacked” GM traits. The Ohio Corn Performance Tests (OCPT) aimed to answer that question. The OCPT, which involved growing different corn varieties, was conducted from 2014 to 2016. Varieties included non-GMO corn, GM herbicide-resistant corn, GM corn with protection against corn-borer, and GM corn with protection against both corn borer and rootworm. GM corn accounted for 90 percent of the varieties grown in the OCPT.

Results of the OCPT found that the non-GMO hybrids produced yields that are competitive with many GM corn hybrids in the absence of corn borer and rootworm pressure.

(Source: Alan Sundermeier, OSU Extension Agent Ag Answers)

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