Farmers are always saying they know their land, their crops, and their livestock because they see them day in and day out. Sometimes you can’t see subtle changes when you are so close. For instance you may not notice a close family members changes unless they have been away for awhile. That is not the case here. Scientists have ‘studies’ but many farmers keep their own extensive records (over generations).
Read what these farmers and ranches say about the changes that happened in their livestock and crops when they changed their livestock’s feed and their crop field seeds. It may surprise you that several farmers wish to remain anonymous.
…. When Troy Knoblock, a farmer who operates a hog nursery in Rock Rapids, Iowa, switched from feeding his animals GM feed to non-GMO feed several years ago he didn’t think there would be a difference. In fact, he says: “We laughed about it.”
But he did see differences in the health of his sows and young hogs. Knoblock, who keeps extensive records of his operation, found that drug treatments for sicknesses were cut in half. Sow conception rates increased from percentages in the 80s to 90s, and the size of hog litters increased.
The switch to non-GMO feed “has made my operation a lot more enjoyable,” Knoblock says.
Over the past few years, Knoblock has also gradually increased plantings of non-GMO crops; this year all his corn and 75% of his soybeans will be non-GMO.
“We have been very happy with yields of everything,” he says.
Jon Blomgren, who works with Knoblock, agrees. “Switching to non-GMO lowered our input costs. The seed is much cheaper, about $150-$160 per bag, while GM seed can cost $300 per bag.”…
…. Steve Tusa, who raises beef cattle in Alpha, Minnesota, has seen improvements in his herd with the use of non-GMO feed. Cattle deaths due to digestive problems or pneumonia have been cut in half …
Tusa grows 1400 acres of non-GMO corn, most of which he uses for feed. “The yields are good as or better than my neighbor’s traited (GM) corn,” Tusa says.
Farmers afraid to speak about non-GMO
Tusa … “There are more people out here doing it, but no one wants to talk about it,” he says. ….
In fact, two farmers described improvements in livestock health with non-GMO feed but did not want their names revealed. A Wisconsin farmer who raises young cows for dairy operations has seen overall better health and weight gain in his herd from non-GMO feed. “We haven’t done a scientific study; it’s just something we’ve seen with our own eyes,” …, the Wisconsin farmer has gotten good yields from non-GMO corn. “We haven’t lost yield; in fact yields have increased,” the farmer says.
A farmer based in South Dakota, who also asked to remain anonymous, reports greater efficiency with non-GMO feed; his livestock don’t have to eat as much. “When we switched to non-GMO, we saw a 5% reduction in feed use. Animals only eat as much as they need,” the farmer says. … his livestock seem more content.
The farmer had previously grown Roundup Ready crops. “We thought Roundup Ready was the saving grace but now it isn’t working; weeds are resistant and it ties up nutrients in the soil,” …
Switching to organic feed could produce even better results, says Jordan Simone Tate, CEO and founder of Nature’s Way Feed, Inc. “I’ve noticed a decline in mastitis issues from some of my clients’ cattle and goat herds, an increase in milk production as well as quality of milk. There is also better quality of eggs and poultry meat,” …