Crop Biotech Update

Adoption of GE Corn, Cotton, and Soybeans in the U.S. Close to Saturation, USDA-ERS Reports

September 25, 2019

Adoption of GE crops with stacked traits accelerated in recent years, providing farmers with better seeds with multiple traits optimal for production. In 2018, approximately 82% of cotton and 80% of corn planted in the US were stacks. This is according to the Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the US published by the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS).

Herbicide tolerant crops, which provide farmers with more options to control weeds, have been adopted in the US starting 1996. HT soybeans rose from 17% in 1997 to 68% in 2001, before plateauing at 94% in 2014. HT cotton rose from 10% in 1997 to 56% in 2001, before reaching a high of 91% in 2014. HT corn adoption rates increased following the turn of the century and reached 90% in 2018.

Adoption of insect resistant Bt corn went up from 8% in 1997 to 82% in 2018. Bt cotton adoption also increased from 15% in 1997 to 85% in 2018. Adoption rates for Bt crops may fluctuate over time, depending on the severity of pest infestations.

Stacked seeds containing both HT and Bt traits continuous to accelerate, taking up a higher percentage of planted acres than GE crops with single traits. Global use of GE seeds are available in the ISAAA report, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2018.

Read more about the recent trends in GE Adoption in the US from the USDA-ERS website.

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