News last update:6 Aug 2012

Potential for Arkansas to become main supplier of non-GM soy

The US state of Arkansas has the potential to be the major source of non-genetically modified (GM) soybean seed, beans and other soy related products in the United States.

This is according to Drew Oliver at the May 8 meeting of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board in the Food Science Department of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Research and Extension Center near the U of A campus.

Oliver is a Crittenden County farmer who heads the International Marketing and Industry Relations Committee of the ASPB, which manages checkoff funds paid by soybean producers and processors to support research and promotion.

Constant exposure to the same herbicide has resulted in weed resistant populations of GM soybeans prompting some farmers to plant non-GMO soybean seed and use more comprehensive weed management practices.

Consumers who prefer food labelled as free of genetically modified ingredients have created a market for non-GMO soybean food products. Some Arkansas farmers grow non-GMO soybeans under contract with companies or marketing groups for production of non-GMO soy products such as edamame, tofu, soymilk, natto and others.

The Division of Agriculture's soybean breeding program has produced high yielding, Arkansas adapted non-GMO varieties that are marketed by the state's seed industry. Arkansas is a leading state in the production and marketing of soybean seed.

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