Famers Report Lower Costs Using Non-GMO Feed
Farmers have a tough business model. In fact, it’s so tough that there’s little leeway given to activism or even long-term outlooks. Focusing on the long-term benefits to others could have many farmers out of work in a short time.
However, it if significant changes are going to be made to introduce large scale sustainable farming practices, it is large scale farmers who will have to lead the way. The way to a more sustainable system will probably be built on economics.
In other words, more and more farmers will need to see bottom line benefits in order to make wholesale changes to their methods. Their land will have to yield more. Their animals will have to be healthier and produce more goods.
The items they produces will need to bring in significantly more money than the competing, less-sustainable options.
In this excerpt below, it seems that farmers are starting to experience these very results when they feed non-gmo seeds to their livestock, or grow non-gmo produce on their land.
This video by Hiland Naturals explains in more detail:
Read more below:
By Ken Roseboro
A growing number of farmers are reporting health problems with farm animals fed genetically modified feed and saying that animal health improves when feed is switched to non-GMO
When Troy Knoblock, a farmer who operates a hog nursery in Rock Rapids, Iowa, switched from feeding his animals GM feed to non-GMO feed several years ago he didn’t think there would be a difference. In fact, he says: “We laughed about it.”
But he did see differences in the health of his sows and young hogs. Knoblock, who keeps extensive records of his operation, found that drug treatments for sicknesses were cut in half. Sow conception rates increased from percentages in the 80s to 90s, and the size of hog litters increased.
The switch to non-GMO feed “has made my operation a lot more enjoyable,” Knoblock says.
Over the past few years, Knoblock has also gradually increased plantings of non-GMO crops; this year all his corn and 75% of his soybeans will be non-GMO.
“We have been very happy with yields of everything,” he says.
Jon Blomgren, who works with Knoblock, agrees. “Switching to non-GMO lowered our input costs. The seed is much cheaper, about $150-$160 per bag, while GM seed can cost $300 per bag.”
Knoblock thinks more farmers will switch to non-GMO production. “There is interest out there, and it’s catching on a lot,” he says.
Knoblock is one of an increasing number of farmers reporting better animal health with non-GMO feed. Steve Tusa, who raises beef cattle in Alpha, Minnesota, has seen improvements in his herd with the use of non-GMO feed. Cattle deaths due to digestive problems or pneumonia have been cut in half from 1.2% of his herd to 0.6%.
Article excerpt and photo courtesy Non-GMOReport