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German ag machinery company founder offers advice to Iowa farmersGerman ag machinery company founder offers advice to Iowa farmers

Huge supermarket chains in Europe are starting to discontinue selling GMO products.

Rod Swoboda 1

July 5, 2016

2 Min Read

Michael Horsch, founder of Horsch Maschinen GmbH, visited Altorfer Ag Products’ dealership at West Branch, Iowa, recently to speak with customers about trends the company has been noticing as a global manufacturer of agricultural equipment. Horsch Maschinen is the Germany-based parent company of Horsch, LLC, the North American entity located in Mapleton, N. D.


One of the primary discussion topics with farmers attending the recent eastern Iowa event was GMOs: genetically modified crops. According to Horsch, the largest supermarket chain in western Europe has recently undertaken an initiative to remove all GMO food products from its shelves by 2020. He warned of the effects that this and similar developments could have on North American farmers, who rely heavily on the export market to sell their grain.

What anti-GMO movement in Europe means for American farmers

“Farmers here in the U.S. have to learn what is going on in the rest of the world, and understand it, so they can stay in business,” said Horsch. “I’m not telling people they have to change. I’m just raising the issues and saying we need to understand what is happening.”

He also spoke about the need for traceability. As more consumers around the world demand to know where their food comes from, Horsch emphasizes that farmers and suppliers must adapt and develop new technologies to track everything that goes into growing a crop, as well as effectively manage that data.

Innovative new products and technology are coming which can help

“It’s not a small movement,” said Horsch, in reference to consumer interest in wanting to know more about their food, it’s origin and how it is produced. “It’s a big movement.” American farmers can supply information to gain the confidence and assurance of end users of U.S.-produced grain and livestock products, he said.

Horsch also explained some of the research he is doing on his own farms in regard to achieving full traceability, as well as other equipment innovations on the horizon that are being developed. “Our motto is faster, simpler and safer,” he said. “We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to make farming better and more efficient.”

For more information, visit horsch.com or altorfer.com.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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