A new survey finds that the main reason farmers have increased their use of genetically modified (GM) crops is sustainability.
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) surveyed farmers on their attitudes towards GM technology and found that farmers 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. Moreover, when asked about farmers’ ability to lessen their environmental footprint, GMO seeds ranked top of the list (98%).
“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,” said Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer who serves as vice chairman of USFRA and chairman of the NCGA. “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.”
Bowling says they are hoping to help consumers understand the beneficial link between GMO technology and sustainability. “Only 11 percent of consumers see GMOs as being favorable,” he said. “But if you talk to them about increased yields and efficiency, then 50 percent believe GMOs are on the right path.”
Listen to my interview with Chip here: Interview with Chip Bowling, USFRA vice chair