THERE is no identifiable benefit to broadacre farmers that can be attributed to the state’s ban on genetically-modified crops, according to Mecardo grain market analyst Andrew Whitelaw.
“On the larger scale, the market does not offer any premiums, but removes choice from growers,” he said.
Mr Whitelaw said the fact the price of non-GM canola coming out of Geelong, Vic, averaged $7 a tonne more than that from SA opposed what politicians were saying.
“The fact that SA is trading at a substantial discount, you cannot point to it being a premium for SA for canola,” he said.
“But the SA government is saying it provides a premium to farmers, so that’s what we are looking at.”
For the past two years, Mecardo analysts have been developing a report to determine if the state's GM-free status delivers any premiums to farmers.
Mecardo analysts have looked at the state’s lamb, cattle, wheat and canola, which make up more than half of the agricultural commodities, and have so far found no substantive premiums delivered to farmers across the state.
“If a government or party says something that isn’t backed up by hard and fast numbers, then it’s important that we look at it and say ‘here are the actual facts behind it’,” Mr Whitelaw said.
“We’re yet to see any numbers from the government to say this is where the GM-free premium comes from.
“It’s important that if there are premiums there, and they do have them, then it shouldn’t be hard to publish them.”