When the oppertunity presented itself, Carrol Wyss went after a new market to make a few extra dollars. What he also found was that the changes he would need to make to control weeds were probably better for his farm.
The Boyceville, Wis., no-tiller has raised 500 acres of edible beans the past 3 years in rotation with 500 acres of Roundup Ready corn. The move away from Roundup Ready soybeans has allowed him to gain an estimated $75 per acre in revenue, far outpacing the additional costs in herbicide to raise the non-Roundup Ready beans.
“We dove right into this market and stopped growing Roundup Ready soybeans primarily because we only have to haul them 7 miles,” says Wyss, who received a $1.75 premium per bushel in 2010. “What I like about the premium is that we go by the Chicago price, so we start out at a better price. There is no basis.”
To date, Wyss has been satisfied with the yields of edible soybeans. The past 3 years, he has raised a Pioneer variety. However, the premium has dropped substantially due to oversaturation. As a result, his local elevator is accepting an NK-brand variety with a higher protein and lower premiums.
“When it comes to edible soybeans, you have to wonder about genetics and yield,” Wyss says. “If your yield is 5 or 6 bushels less than genetically modified soybeans, then it’s probably not worth it.
“While we’ve done no side-by-side comparisons, I’ve been satisfied that we’re…