Straight from the farmer’s mouth!
Farmers want to use GMO crops and recognize the benefits of doing so!
The United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance performed a survey to gain perspective on how farmers perceive the use of biotech crops. The data was gleaned from nearly 300 United States farmers, age 18 and older. Of the farmers surveyed, 92% have been growing GMO crops for 10 years or more. That includes crops across the spectrum of commercially available available biotech crops. The finding was as follows:
Overall 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. Also, a majority 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.
The survey was conducted in conjunction with USFRA’s annual survey of consumer perceptions. While the majority of consumers thought modern farm production methods were sustainable, only 11% thought favorably of GMOs.
I’m really happy this survey was done and the results published. There is a common misconception that farmers are somehow forced into purchasing crops with genetically modified traits. Or that all of our choices have somehow been taken away from us so that we must choose GMO crops for our farms.
But nothing could be farther from the truth.
While farmers might worry about consolidation, and certainly about the price of seed, we do have a choice. Part of that choice is whether or not we are going to grow crops with biotech traits. We always have the choice of non-GMO seeds. But farmers make the choice to plant and grow GMO crops because they recognize the benefits for their farms. Farmers know that GMOs lower pesticide use, promote sustainability, and increase yields. Research is consistent with these conclusions and what farmers have experienced on the farm.
What seed to purchase and plant is one of the most important decisions we make on the farm every single year. Making the best decision for our farms at the beginning of each season sets us up for success at the end of the year. If you want to know more about how farmers choose the seed that they plant each season, you can read my article about our choices and the factors that go into our decisions.