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Crop Biotech Update

PG Economics Reports Global Impact of Biotech Crops

June 1, 2016

Crop biotechnology has consistently provided important economic and production gains, improves incomes and reduced risk," according to PG Economics report titled GM Crops: Global Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts 1996- 2014 authored by Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot.

"Where farmers have been given the choice of growing GM crops, the economic benefits realized are clear and amounted to an average of over $100/hectare in 2014" said Graham Brookes, who is also the Director of PG Economics. "Two-thirds of these benefits derive from higher yields and extra production, with farmers in developing countries seeing the highest gains. The environment is also benefiting as farmers increasingly adopt conservation tillage practices, build their weed management practices around more benign herbicides and replace insecticide use with insect resistant GM crops," he added.

The highlights of the report include the following:

  • GM crops enabled the farmers to grow more without using additional land. Without biotechnology, farmers would have needed 20.7 million hectares or more to get the same yield.
  • Biotechnology helped farmers produce more yields. Because of crop biotechnology, 321.8M tons of corn, 24.7M tons of cotton and 158.4M tons of soybeans were added in the global production.
  • GM crops planting practices helped reduce tilling and greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 10 million cars off the road in 2014.
For more details, download a copy of the report from PG Economics.