Forty Years of Data Quantifies Benefits of Bt Corn Adoption Across Different CropsMarch 14, 2018
In a novel and large scale study, researchers from the University of Maryland (UMD) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) have put together 40 years of data to quantify the benefits of Bt corn. Previous studies have shown the benefits of Bt corn adoption on pest management for pests like corn borer for years, but this is the first study to look at the effects on other offsite crops in North America.
Bt corn, a genetically modified crop adopted in the United States in 1996, makes up over 90% of the current corn production in the country. In the study, Dr. Galen Dively, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Consultant in the Department of Entomology, and Dr. Dilip Venugopal, UMD Research Associate, used data from 1976-2016 to look at trends 20 years before and 20 years after Bt corn adoption. "Safety of Bt corn and other GMOs has been tested and proven extensively, but this study is about effectiveness of Bt corn as a pest management strategy, particularly for offsite crops or different crops in different areas than the Bt corn itself," explains Venugopal.
By controlling the corn borer population, the study shows significant decreases in recommended spraying regimens, pest populations, and overall crop damage not just for corn, but also for peppers, green beans, and other important crops to North American agriculture. These benefits have never before been documented and showcase Bt corn as a powerful tool to combat pesticide resistance and advance the agricultural industry.
Venugopal said that the next step would be to "quantify the millions and millions of dollars in economic benefits we see here in a very concrete way to show money and time saved on spraying and pest management, crop damage reduction, as well as consideration of the environmental benefits." He emphasized that Bt corn should be considered as one of many tools in an IPM tool box. "The benefits are undeniable, but must always be weighed against many other options to use a broad range of tools and maximize benefit while minimizing any potential risks," he added.
Read more about this study in the AGNR News & Events.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- African Seed Companies Encouraged to Invest in Biotechnology
- Ugandan Journalists Vow to Change the Rhetoric against Science
- Scientists Engineer Crops to Use 25% Less Water; Resist Drought
- Researchers Discover How Weeds Develop Glyphosate Resistance
- Forty Years of Data Quantifies Benefits of Bt Corn Adoption Across Different Crops
- Report Confirms Ban on GM Crops in South Australia Does Not Deliver Any Benefits to Farmers
- Japan to Finalize GE Labeling Requirements Soon
- Study Quantifies Cost of Delayed GM Canola Adoption in Australia
- GMOinfo.eu Website is Launched
- Researchers Develop GM Sugarcane with Pyramided Insecticidal Proteins
- Maize Gene Improves Drought Tolerance and Grain Yield in Rice
- RNAi Confers Resistance Against Sugarcane Mosaic Virus
Beyond Crop Biotech
- First-Ever Transgenic Tick to Help Fight Tick-Borne Diseases
- 2nd Biotechnology World Symposium
- CRISPR-Cas9 Found Applicable to Alfalfa
- Scientists Study Seed Germination in Lettuce Using CRISPR
- Chinese Researchers Study Abiotic Stress Tolerance Genes in Rice
- Safer Potatoes Developed Using CRISPR-Cas9
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (June 7, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (May 31, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: