Home Farmers: GMO crops help reduce inputs, enhance conservation
Local

Farmers: GMO crops help reduce inputs, enhance conservation

Contributors

newspaperA majority of U.S. farmers and ranchers surveyed recently indicate biotechnology and genetically modified crops play an important role in farming more efficiently, according to findings released Dec. 15, 2016, by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and National Corn Growers Association.

More than 280 farmers nationwide were surveyed about their attitudes toward genetically modified organisms. They were asked to weigh in on the impact of GMO technology on the environment, pesticide use and yields. More than 90 percent of participants have been using GMO seeds for 10 or more years and grow a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and cotton.

Survey participants said they believe biotechnology helps raise crops more efficiently and that the environment and sustainability practices will suffer if GMO technology utilization is reduced in crop production in the future.

Seventy-eight percent of farmers surveyed said they foresee increased environmental impacts—including an increase in water usage and application of pesticides—if GMO seeds are not available to them in the future.

When asked about farmers’ ability to lessen their environmental footprint, 98 percent of those polled ranked GMO seeds at the top of their list.

Eighty-seven percent of farmers said GMO seeds allow them to minimize pesticide and herbicide usage. Seventy-eight percent said planting GMO crops allows them to engage in advanced farming practices such as conservation tillage, and 64 percent said GMO crops allow for efficient management of resources, specifically fuel, time and equipment.

Sixty-nine percent said that, in their experience, GMO seeds produce a higher yield, and 65 percent said the technology works best for their particular farms and regions with regard to enhanced productivity.

“With GMOs and advances in agricultural technology, we’re utilizing our resources much more precisely today and have pinpoint accuracy when applying fertilizer, nitrogen and chemical applications. This is especially important on my farm in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” explained Chip Bowling, vice chairman of the USFRA and a third-generation farmer in Maryland. “The farmers’ perspective in the survey findings are a direct indication of how important genetic engineering technology is for the environment and our food supply, and how it benefits farmers and consumers alike.”

The USFRA consists of more than 100 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners working to engage in dialogue with consumers. The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy organization, is a member, as is the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Contributors

Contributors

Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News

Arts & Culture, Local

Virginia native Brandon Carter says goodbye to American Shakespeare Center

ncaa tournament
Basketball, Sports

Metrics: Blowout loss at Virginia Tech did serious damage to Virginia in the computers

The ESPN broadcast crew told us early in last night’s Big Monday matchup that bracketology guy Joe Lunardi didn’t think Virginia’s seed line would be impacted win or lose.

tony bennett
Basketball, Sports

It only counts as one L, and other observations from UVA’s 75-41 loss at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech led 16-14 after a Jordan Minor layup at the 9:43 mark of the first half. Virginia, at that point, was a just-fine 7-of-15 from the floor, six of the makes coming at the rim. That, as it turns out, was as good as it would get.

uva basketball
Basketball, Sports

Scott German: Ugly loss at Virginia Tech brings a time for reckoning for Virginia

uva virginia tech
Basketball, Sports

Listless Virginia pantsed by Virginia Tech in front of national TV audience

Augusta County
Op-Eds, Politics

Tracy Pyles: The knuckleheads running Augusta County

grateful dead book and author
Arts & Culture, Local

Grateful Dead’s live performances explored in new ‘Live Dead’ book