Position Statements on Biotechnology
American Midwest Farmers
Farmers in the American Midwest have suffered their worst drought in decades this year. Agricultural productivity will be substantially reduced and water reservoirs severely depleted.
Yet the position could have been much more serious had it not been for the uptake of herbicide-resistant biotech crops, which have allowed the increased adoption of no-till farming. No-till allows a farmer to plant a new crop directly into the soil through the residue of the previously harvested crop, breaking down that plant residue and helping to increase soil organic matter.
Traditionally growers would have cleared their previous crop and deep plowed, in part to hinder the re-growth of weeds which would otherwise smother the young crop plants. Deep plowing leads to open fields exposed to wind and erosion. No-till not only minimizes erosion, but also maintains the natural moisture in the soil so crops get a good start with less need for watering.
The widespread adoption of no-till, particularly among soy growers, has been facilitated through the use of herbicide-resistant soybeans. This year's US soybean harvest is expected to be more than 75% biotech, with herbicide-resistant varieties planted on 90% of soybean farms - a clear indication that farmers have adopted a technology that works well in their individual operations.
US farmers are well aware of the debate in the European Union over the adoption of agricultural biotechnology. They are well aware of the many issues and controversies surrounding the debate. They are well aware of the myths and misinformation which have been put forward by opponents of agricultural biotechnology, fueling much of the discussion and often leading to a misunderstanding of the use of the technology and the advantages it can bring.
This report sets out to set the record straight. It aims to address many of the issues and correct the myths - the 'factoids' - about agricultural biotechnology, using the knowledge of our own experience as farmers as well as the numerous scientific and economic studies published in this area. We hope it will be useful for everyone interested in knowing the facts.
and Agricultural Organization
Society of African Scientists
United States of America
Biotechnology Advisory Committee
|Home :: Global Status :: CBT Update :: Info Resource :: Events :: BICs :: Directory :: About Us :: Editorial Policy|
Copyright © 2006. CropBiotech Net.