What’s the Portion of GMO vs. Non-GMO Crops Grown in North Carolina?

Cornfield - GMO Questions Answered

Question: There is a lot of controversy about GMO seeds, crops and food these days. As a small organic farmer, I notice around me many farmers growing this seed and crop, mainly silage. What is the portion of North Carolina farmers who are growing GMO-related crops versus the ones who grow non-GMO, organic and biodynamically produced crops?

I imagine some farmers may be growing, in some cases, a mix of GMO and non-GMO crops. Not sure if that distinction is easily discernible in your researching this answer, but that would also be helpful to know as a profile of our state. – Trey Scott, Mountain Meadows Farm, Leicester, N.C.

Answer: In 2014, North Carolina will produce around 1.7 million acres of soybeans, 860,000 acres of corn for grain and 470,000 acres of cotton. While hard data is not available, the vast majority (well over 90%) of these field crops will be GMO.  There are a growing number of farmers growing organic grains to be sold to the growing organic or natural dairy and meats market, but the acreage is still small. North Carolina is also a state of specialty crops. In 2014, we will grow over 66,000 acres of sweet potatoes, about 90,000 acres of peanuts and over 180,000 acres of tobacco. None of these specialty crops are GMO. We also grow a substantial amount of produce, ranging from cucumbers to cabbage. I don’t think many vegetable crops are GMO.


With regard to field crops and GMO prevalence, North Carolina is very similar to the rest of the U.S. and other major grain and cotton producers (e.g. Brazil).
–  Dr. Blake Brown, Hugh C. Kiger Professor and Extension Economist, Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University

Read more Ask a Farmer Q&As, and submit your questions to ask a farmer to ncff@jnlcom.com.


  1. Sunny

    December 10, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Would it be important to mention that NCState is playing a big role in the advancement of GMO’s? They have afterall recieved millions from Monsato to breed such crops.

  2. Cynthia Matsuda

    October 23, 2015 at 8:11 am

    I want to know a farm that DOES NOT use GMO…in NC.. That will be the farm I give my business to! Shame on the ones trying to poison us !

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *