Farm Industry News [1]

Financing biotech

I am writing you in response to your column "Who's selling biotech?" in the Mid-March issue, page 10.

I am 73 plus years old, farmed all my life and have witnessed many, many changes. I remember certified seed corn being introduced in the '30s and the price of corn at $6 to $8 a bushel. Today, it is not uncommon to pay well over $100 for a bag of biotech corn.

My intent is not to try to compare today with 60 years ago but to agree with your statement of farmers' "history of talking to customers and funding check-off programs."

Farmers have for years - directly or indirectly - financed agribusiness's research and promotional plans by paying inflated prices for the seed they purchase. We are asked now by Monsanto to hear them out in their feeble attempt to explain why $9 bean seed is available in South America and we are asked to pay double the price.

Who is financing the expansion of bean acres and promoting bean seed sales? None other than the American farmer. Malcom A. Smith Willard, OH