Iowa State University researchers are hoping to see organic soybeans and sweet corn become more prominent in the state.Kathleen Delate has been researching ways to grow the organic beans and sweet corn for the past five years. The federal definition of organic is a field that’s been devoid of synthetic fertilizer, herbicides or insecticides for three years.Delate says the key to creating a market for the soybeans, also known as edamame, is finding a way to mechanically harvest them. They’re trying to use a green bean picker now.As for the sweet corn, Delate says it’s a matter of letting people know about the organic alternative which costs a little more. She believes there’s a market for food without the chemicals. The nutritional studies have been 50-50 on whether there are differences. She says the higher cost to customers means more profit for farmers.For example, organic soybeans sell for 14-dollars-a-bushel, while other soybeans sell for five or six dollars. Delate says the organic crops yield a little less for farmers, but they make that up by paying premium prices when sold.
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