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Mary Mertz

Farmer

Expert Bio

Growing up in Chicago, Mary knew very little about agriculture and food production. As a consumer in an urban setting, there weren't many opportunities granted for dialoging with farmers. That is until she met and married one in 1986. Moving from skyscrapers to silos wasn't an easy transition. But now, after raising a family and living on a grain and livestock farm for 27 years, her roots are solidly transplanted in Kansas. The fifth-generation farm consists of corn and soybean acreage, as well as a Simmental cattle operation. Mary has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Ethics. Her husband, Bob, and she have two adult children and host a "farm to fork" event called Feast of the Fields twice a year.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Answer

Q: Should farmers be compensated for infecting their organic or non-gmo crops with GMO? Should you have to pay the damages to their farm?

Answered By Mary Mertz - Feb 27, 2014

A: This is a question that has been seriously scrutinized and debated for a few years now. In 2011, the USDA formed an Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture to discuss issues of this type. The final report submitted by the committee, in November 2012, did not reach a definitive consensus on how compensation should be handled, if at all. However, it did make some recommendations in terms of stewardship practices and examining the use of crop insurance as a means to protect farmers’ commodity assets. You can read the entire report here (pages 9–14 address compe [...]

Environment GMO Basics Crop protectants

Answer

Q: What are the problems with the seeds of GMOs

Answered By Mary Mertz - Apr 11, 2014

A: Your question could be answered in various ways depending upon how one interprets it.  We use GM seeds for growing both corn and soybeans here on our farm.  The benefits of biotech seeds include the reality that we now are using less pesticides and other chemicals on our crops, as well as the fact that it allows us to use less tillage (break-up) of the soil. This means less land erosion, a very good plus for the environment. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the seeds is the amount of misinformation that is being circulated out there.  GMOs have a public image proble [...]

Environment How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants

Answer

Q: I know that farming and agriculture is a almost tradition Im some families. How would the ancestors of GM farmers feel about the growers spraying their crops with pounds of pesticides and herbicides just to yield more product and therefore profit.

Answered By Mary Mertz - Jul 23, 2014

A: When my children were little, I had to watch them suffer through chicken pox. It was very difficult. When I was a child, my parents almost lost me to a severe case of the measles. I share this because advancements in medicine have reduced health issues tremendously. If vaccinated, kids don’t need to experience these diseases anymore. The same goes for biotechnology and the remarkable advancements it has introduced to farming through the generations. Using pesticides and herbicides has always been about growing the best and healthiest crops possible. Science leads the way. I believe our a [...]

How GMOs Are Made Modern Agriculture Crop protectants

Answer

Q: Does GM corn deteriorate faster in storage than nonGM corn?

Answered By Mary Mertz - Jul 31, 2015

A: The quick answer to this is “no.” However, as a farmer that grows GMO corn, I can share a few positive realities with you.  First, let’s clarify that GMO or genetic engineering is simply one tool that grain farmers use in the production of their crops. The seeds we sow differ from non-genetically engineered seeds only by a microscopic gene trait that improves the plant in some way, whether by making it stronger to resist pests or drought, or making it more nutritional.   Second, when a plant is grown using genetically engineered seeds, the final product, the ear [...]

Environment How GMOs Are Made Crop protectants