Non-GMO soy beans command an average of USD $0.50 to $1 premium per bushel over genetically modified soybeans, as of 2015. As a result, farmers are increasingly growing non-GMO soybeans.
The end use of the soybeans also impacts the market price premium paid to the farmers. Farmers can earn up to a $1.80 per bushel premium above commodity soybean prices for non-GMO soybeans grown for animal feed and $2.00 to $3.00 per bushel for soybeans grown for human consumption food use such as tofu.
While in previous years, some farmers found it a challenge to procure high-quality, non-GMO seeds, farmers have been happy in recent years with the high-quality of non-GMO soybean seed varieties. This seed is becoming available through more private companies in the US and Canada, including US Soy, Citizens, LLC in the US and Huron Commodities and Hendrick Seeds in Canada, and also through many US universities, such as the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, the University of Arkansas.
In addition to the premium market price for non-GMO soybeans, the cost of producing non-GMO soybeans has been lower than that of genetically modified soybeans in recent years. Farmers enjoy better yields and save money up front by planting non-GMO soybeans.
A combination of factors including low market prices soybeans, higher GMO seed costs, the premium market prices farmers fetch for non-GMO soybeans, and failing GMO traits may push more farmers to go non-GMO or even organic in the near future.