[Market-farming] GM sweet corn
khalstead at wsu.edu
Thu Oct 31 10:39:04 EDT 2013
While I consider myself exceedingly fortunate that our corn's worst enemy is contamination from the local GMO silage surrounding us, I've heard several times over the years from folks that had good luck controlling corn worms with vegetable oil or oil laced with Bt. http://www.pfi.iastate.edu/ofr/Crops/SA14_Protecting_Sweet_Corn_from_Corn_Earworm_w_Oil_and%20Btk.pdf seems to confirm that as well. Labor intensive to be sure, but worth considering for smaller crops if the market demand will bear the true cost.
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khalstead at wsu.edu
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From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Etienne Goyer
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:20 AM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] GM sweet corn
Thanks for the info.
I am considering trying growing sweet corn next year on a small-scale as a pilot project. The demand is strong, but the price uninteresting. I want to test the market, and see if people are willing to 1. pay more than they currently do for local, non-GMO, unsprayed sweet corn (not certified so cannot call myself organic), and 2. accept that an ear or two a dozen may contain a worm. I will have to do so some work on crop budgeting to make sure I don't make a loss, but I am considering pricing in the 8$/dz range. I am also considering using trichogram wasp for worm control. The growing part will be a challenge; I have plenty of space to grow, but the climate here is not exactly the best for sweet corn. We'll see how it goes.
I do not know much about american consumer's culture, but I can tell you that around here, if you where to label your corn as "genetically modified", you would not sell a single ear. I am not saying it's rational, and I fully agree that is in contradiction with demanding perfect corn. But I think that there is definitely a market opportunity here, although customer education is key to getting into it. It's important for me to be truthful about the claims I am making, hence why I am trying to confirm the information I want to use in marketing my own crop (in that case, that store-sold sweet corn import from the US is likely to be GM).
Anyway, this may or may not pan out. I have very many projects on the burner, so whether or not I go ahead with growing sweet corn in 2014 remains to be determined. I will let you know guys how it works out, if indeed I go ahead with this.
On 13-10-31 09:41 AM, Richard Stewart wrote:
> A majority of the bulk big box store sweet corn is indeed Bt. Around
> us its about half and half.half Bt and half sprayed about 4 too 6
> days. I have yet to meet an organic grower that consistently grows
> great yummy sweet corn where they have it available from July to September.
> I am not saying they do not exist. The closest I have found is the
> guy we work with that is light spray and only sprays once they see an
> large outbreak of ear worm and then its only spot. They are smart and
> reserve their sprays to outbreaks and infestations like the three
> generations before them understanding that insects develop tolerance.
> Nothing remotely organic though. THey told me they tried it one year
> and they pretty much had to absorb the cost on the corn that was
> damaged. Folks go through and look for ear worms. I remember it
> being my childhood duty to break off tips.
> I'll argue that Bt is as consumer driven as GMO products come.
> Richard Stewart
> Carriage House Farm
> North Bend, Ohio
> An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
> (513) 967-1106
> rstewart at zoomtown.com <mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com>
> You can follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @CarriageHsFm
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> On Oct 30, 2013, at 9:31 PM, Etienne Goyer
> <etienne at lejardinduvillage.ca <mailto:etienne at lejardinduvillage.ca>> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> It's been recently reported that GM sweet corn is now being sold in
>> Canada. In one article I've read on the topic, it's claimed that the
>> majority of sweet corn grown in the US have been GM for a while. I
>> doubt that claim. Is it actually true? Is there any statistic about
>> this available online?
>> Note that I am talking specifically about *sweet* corn, not grain or
>> silage corn.
>> Thanks for the info!
>> Etienne Goyer - Le Jardin du Village
>> "Changer le monde, une betterave à la fois"
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