“Technology has reduced the amount of herbicides and pesticides needed, requiring less energy per bushel produced, thus reducing our carbon footprint.”
That was one of many precision farming efficiency messages delivered by Rob Korff last week at a United Nations food security meeting. Korff, Missouri family farmer and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association Biotechnology Working Group, explained how technology has made corn production more efficient and stabilized yields.
Advances in GPS, and precision agriculture also minimize overlap and over application of inputs, fertilizers and chemicals, reduces fuel usage and saves time. These practices have helped us produce a more secure, abundant, affordable rood supply with less impact on the environment.
In fact, if you view trend line yield increases since biotechnology has been more widely implemented, you will notice famers have reduced the energy and inputs used in production. Additionally, only 13 percent of our corn is irrigated and farming practices such as no and minimal till save large amounts of water and soil. The U.S. relies on rain water for 87 percent of our corn production. Long term trend lines also project harvesting at 10.74 tons/hectare by 2020 while the 12 year trend line projects 11.5 tons/hectare by 2020 – an increase of 24 million metric tons per year tied to yield enhancing biotech traits.
According to the National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy, the use of biotechnology reduced the use of pesticides by 110 million pounds in 2006.
By utilizing these advancements in technology, farmers are able to meet the growing demands of not just the U.S. but the world. Despite adverse weather conditions last year, the U.S. had a 1.6 billion bushel carryout with ample supply for food, feed and fuel.
I believe biotech has been fully tested and is safe for consumption. It is allowing farmers to produce a more secure, abundant and affordable food supply.
As education and awareness spread, technology, and more specifically, biotechnology will be the answer to feeding our rapidly expanding world population.