Jordon Grimm plans to enroll acres in Benson Hill's non

Jordon Grimm, West Bend, is looking forward to participating in Benson Hill's soybean program next year. (Aaron Putze/Iowa Soybean Association)

Non-GMO soybean program seeks more growers, acres in 2021

November 5, 2020 | Aaron Putze, APR

Farmers uneasy about the continuation of wild price swings and instability of trade relations with key export markets are looking more closely at growing specialty soybeans for specific buyers.

Benson Hill, a U.S.-based crop genetic startup that provides innovative soybean food and feed-grade seed varieties, intends to capitalize 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. Last year, three Iowa farmers contracted just shy of 1,200 acres of the specialty beans. Benson Hill seeks additional growers and up to 20,000 acres of production next year to keep up with rising consumer demand.

The company contracted 30,000 acres of production nationally in 2020 and seeks to more than triple that amount next year.

Jordon Grimm, an Iowa Soybean Association farmer member from West Bend, participated in the program last year and intends to do so again next growing season.

“Soybean farmers are always looking for options to enhance competitiveness and profitability,” he says. “At Grimm Farms, we’re open to trying new things to meet customer demand and preferences.

“We must continue looking down every row and across every acre for ways to optimize returns during these challenging economic times. Programs like this offer such an opportunity.”

Benson Hill 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

“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.”

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 and completing the contact form.