According to a new survey of U.S. farmers and ranchers, the majority view biotechnology and GMO crops as an important solution in helping raise crops more efficiently.
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) surveyed over 280 farmers across the United States about their attitudes toward GMO crops and specifically the impact of biotechnology on the environment, pesticide use, and yields.
Findings conclude 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. Seventy-eight (78%) percent of farmers foresee increased environmental impacts—including an increase in water usage and application of pesticides—if GMO seeds were not to be available to them as a choice in crop production. When asked about farmers’ ability to lessen their environmental footprint, 98 percent of those polled ranked GMO seeds at the top of their list.
In other findings –
87% indicated GMO seeds allow them to minimize pesticide/herbicide usage
78% also expressed being able to engage in advanced farming practices, such as conservation tillage.
64% also believe GMO seeds allow for efficient management of resources
69% believe GMO seeds produce a higher yield
The survey was conducted online from October 11-26, 2016, among a sample of 282 farmers, 18 years of age and older, living in the U.S. The margin of error for this study is +/-5.84 % at a 95% confidence level. Of the 282 farmers polled, 92% have been using GMO seeds for 10 or more years, and grow a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and cotton.