Wisconsin organic and non-GMO farmer values working with nature over profits and yields
Published: January 28, 2020
Category: Non-GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Randy Hughes works 5,000 acres of fertile land in southern Wisconsin, and is surrounded by fields of genetically modified corn and soybeans. But although he understands why his neighbors choose GM crops, he’s chosen his route for personal and business reasons—trying to put “core values above increasing profits or yielding the most bushels.”
Hughes Farms has grown organic and non-GMO for 20 years; although premiums are not as pronounced as they once were due to competition, he enjoys the seed savings and environmental benefits of his choice. His yields are also up to par with conventional.
Hughes says he has benefited from the protection against pests that his GM-crop neighbors provide. “But where I’d fall on my face is if there’s a huge infestation of corn borer and I’m not ready for it. I’ll lose and the GMO guys will flourish, absolutely, that’s the case.”
He admits that GM drift is a threat to his organic certification, and that non-GMO crops take more work than conventional for the same result—“But it has made me a better farmer,” he says. “When you’re an organic farmer it’s like you’re farming with Mother Nature rather than trying to beat her at her own game with pesticides and chemicals.”
Hughes respects farmers growing GMOs, and says he eats them himself and doesn’t consider them harmful.
Source: The Courier
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