Organic Corn VS Non Organic Corn
Over the past several years, the demand for organic corn has been increasing in our region. This growth in demand has been influenced by a growth in organic dairy, poultry and livestock production. Often the price of organic corn is twice that of conventional corn.
First, as with all organically certified crops, the land must be farmed in accordance with the new national standards. There must be a three year period from the time the last prohibited material was applied to the land till the time it can be certified as organic. This three year transition period should be viewed as a training period for the farmer as well as transition period for the land.
Most organic producers use diverse crop rotations to minimize weed, insect and disease pressures and to maximize biological diversity. By planting a rotation of corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, and hay along with cover crops our farms can provide year-round cover, produce on-farm nitrogen and recycle nutrients.
Organic farming offers higher profits with challenges. Organic grain farming can increase farmers’ incomes significantly, but there are also challenges, particularly in transitioning to organic.
Referring to 2005 data compiled by Purdue University, pointed out that conventional farms lose money each year. Total crop revenues plus government subsidy payments fall far short of covering overhead costs for machinery, drying/handling, labor, and land rent. According to Purdue’s data, a 1200-acre conventional farm with high productivity soil suffers a loss of more than $50,000.
By contrast, Reding said that a 300-acre organic farm growing a crop rotation of corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and popcorn, produces a net revenue of $3675. Extending these figures to a 1200-acre organic farm would produce net earnings of $132,900, said Reding.
Organic crops command much higher premiums than conventional with per bushel prices of $6.25 for corn, $20 for soybeans, $6 for wheat, and $60 per ton for hay.
Then there are marketing risks. Alexander said organic farmers may need to negotiate more with buyers over prices, and may have to wait longer to receive payments. Additional storage may also be needed to store grains while the farmer finds a buyer.
Finally, organic farmers face increasing challenges from genetically modified crops, which now make up the majority of corn and soybeans grown in the United States. Pollen drift is a big concern with corn, while seed contamination and commingling in grain handling is a problem with soybeans.
Corn is grown all around the world. Most of the corn grown in the United States is grown in the Corn Belt. The Corn Belt includes the states of Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. The United States is the leading corn grower and grows more than 35% of the world’s corn.
Some kinds are popcorn, sweet, flour, flint, dent, and pod corn. Some breakfast cereals, salad dressings, margarines, syrups, cornstarch and snacks have corn in them. Cornmeal is ground up corn that is used for corn bread, tamales, and tortillas. We also use it for things like baby powder, glue, soap, alcohol, and medicine.
Corn is used to feed livestock, too. Hogs, cattle, sheep, and poultry eat about half of the corn grain that is grown each year. Some corn is used for silage. Corn silage is livestock food that is made from the parts of the corn plant that are left after the roots and ears of corn have been taken off.
In the corn divisions, depending upon year, the average maximum and minimum cost per acre is $215 to $254 in the cash grain division, and $187 to $229 in the dairy and livestock division. Average costs per bushel have been $1.26 to $1.54 in the cash grain division, and $1.13 to $1.44 in the dairy and livestock division. Better efficiency (low cost per bushel) is seen in years with higher yields.