PETROLIA Organic grain traders, buyers and processors are paying top dollar for corn, soybeans and many other grains and expect the trend to continue.
“Depending on test weight and the shipping period, we expect to pay $12 to $14.50 per bushel for organic corn in 2015,” says Rita Felder, owner and CEO of Field Farms Marketing near Petrolia.
Dan Bewersdorff, organic grain program director of Herbrucks, of Saranac, Mich., will be offering similar prices. Herbrucks sources from Ontario, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.
Demand for organic grains is being driven by consumer demand for organic food in a wide variety of categories. As the largest organic egg producer in the United States with over one-million chickens, the Michigan business sees this trend firsthand. “The demand for organic eggs is growing, so then the demand for organic grain grows too,” Bewersdorff says.
With strong demand and prices two to three times that of conventional, why arent farmers lining up to convert?
“Its a big step and requires people to change how they have been farming for the last two generations,” says Bewersdorff.
At Field Farms, owner Rita Felder notes: “Many conventional farmers have also taken on jobs off the farm. Their plates are already quite full without adding the learning curve of converting to organic.”