Division explores marketing potential for non-GMO soybeans
Two economists researching the market potential for non-genetically modified soybeans will discuss their findings Nov. 27 at a meeting at the Arkansas Farm Bureau headquarters in Little Rock.
"In the marketplace today, consumers want information about how their food is produced and processed," said Ron Rainey, co-director of the Southern Region Risk Management Education Center. Rainey is a professor of economics for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "One area of keen interest revolves around genetically modified plants for food."
Rainey, and his brother Dan Rainey, a professor of economics at the University of Arkansas, are both working on the research, funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.
"The project's goal is to identify the market potential of non-GMO soybeans and to see if Arkansas soybean growers can capitalize on this segment," Ron Rainey said.
There is no cost to attend the meeting, but registration is required. Register online at http://survey.uaex.edu/AgEconomics/soybeanproject.htm.
"There's more to the issue than simply growing non-GMO soybeans," Rainey said. "Growers need to know what varieties might work for them, and how to get those crops certified as being non-genetically modified. Those are some of the issues we'll cover at this meeting."
The Raineys and industry representatives will discuss:
--The current market and issues affecting the demand for non-GMO products;
--The MarketMaker database systems managed by the Cooperative Extension Service that will enable growers to highlight the beans they are growing and how they are grown;
--Varieties being developed in Arkansas; and
Protocols for certifying crops as GMO free.
The day's program will conclude with a discussion including presenters and members from the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board on what needs to be done to expand the production and distribution on non-GMO beans from Arkansas.
The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. and wind up around 4:30 p.m.