Benson-Hill is offering opportunities to grow non-GMO s

Benson-Hill is seeking growers to participate in there non-GMO grower opportunities next year. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Non-GMO soybean program charging toward 20,000-acre Iowa goal

November 19, 2020 | Aaron Putze, APR

Benson Hill, a U.S.-based crop genetic startup that provides innovative soybean food and feed-grade seed varieties, is capitalizing on this interest by expanding the number of growers and acres planted to its specialty soy in Iowa in 2021.

Soybean farmers operating within a 250-mile radius of Cherokee can contract production of specific varieties of non-GMO soybeans offered by the company.

Nearly 4,000 acres referred by 12 Iowa farmers are in the review process. Benson Hill is seeking 16,000 additional acres of production next year (20,000 acres total) to keep up with rising consumer demand.

Last year, three Iowa farmers contracted almost 1,200 acres of the specialty beans. Benson-Hill contracted 30,000 acres of production nationally in 2020 and seeks to more than triple that amount in 2021.

“When we engage with growers, we want to have a relationship with them,” says Matt Crisp, CEO of Benson Hill. “We want to partner with them. In our minds, that’s creating a win-win situation where we're able to provide new commercial elite varieties, but also pay the grower a premium for further production.

“We’re off to a solid start in the procurement of acres for the 2021 crop year but have plenty of room for growth as farmers diversify to meet ever-evolving consumer wants and preferences.”

Crisp says the company is looking for growers willing to plant at least 150 acres of its high oleic, non-GMO eMerge soybeans (maturity zones 1.2-4.8). Interested growers must have on-farm storage capacity.

Contract highlights include:

  • Full production, Act of God, acreage contract
  • Buyer’s call AND Harvest, elevator movement,
  • +$2 over Jan 2022 CBOT, delivered
  • On-farm storage premium beginning Jan ’22 at $0.06 per bushel per month

It takes growers to make the system work, Crisp adds. So, Benson Hill offers contracts to not only raise their soybeans but also buy them back. The 2021 program is structured as a full production, Act of God, acreage contract where Benson Hill are ultimately purchasing the harvest and moving it through the value chain. 

Interested growers can opt into the program conversation and learn more by visiting their website and completing the contact form.