Crop Biotech UpdateFriday, 3rd May, 2002
US Farmers' Adoption Of GE Crops Jumped Dramatically"Driven by farmers' expectations of lower production costs, higher yields, and reduced pesticide use, the rate at which US farmers adopt genetically engineered (GE) crop varieties has jumped dramatically", said a brief released by the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (ERS/USDA).
In 1999, 28.7 million hectares were planted to GM crops in the US. This increased to 30.3 million hectares in 2000 and 35.7 million hectares by 2001.
The main reason given by farmers for using GM crops was "increased yield through improved pest control" followed by their desire to decrease pesticide costs. Other reasons included increased planting flexibility and environmental benefits.
These results confirmed other studies, which showed that farmers tend to use agricultural innovations that may increase crop yield or reduce cost since they expect their profits to increase.
Therefore, there is a high incentive to use pest management techniques since its objective is to reduce crop yield losses.
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