Three recent studies – of biotech crops in Brazil, Argentina and India – all note the benefits of crops with biotechnology traits.
Celeres Ambiental, a consulting firm based in Brazil, looked at the impact of GM cotton, GM corn and herbicide-resistant soybeans for Brazilian farmers. The study, undertaken for the Brazilian Seed and Seedling Association, evaluated both the economic benefits to the farmers who have adopted biotechnology as well as the environmental benefits to society.
The study found that for every $1 that the farmer invested in biotech seed, Brazilian farmers obtained an incremental return that averaged US$ 2.61 for corn, US$ 1.59 for soy and US$ 3.59 for cotton. Environmental benefits analyzed included reduction in the amount of water used for agriculture, reduction in diesel consumption, reduction in CO2 consumption and an overall reduction in active ingredients used on the farm.
In Argentina, a study led by Dr. Eduardo Trigo of the FORGES Foundation for the Argentine Council for Information and Development of Biotechnology (ArgenBIO) considered 15 years of experience with biotech crops in the country. In addition to the cumulative gross benefits of 72,645.52 million US $, the authors estimate that over the 15 year period that GM crops have been planted in Argentina, 1.8 million new jobs have been attributed to the adoption of GM crops. The overall report analyses the financial and environmental impacts of GM crops on Argentinean agriculture from the various approved traits in soy, corn and cotton, the traits pending approvals and the importance of early adoption of the technology.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences focused on the efficacy of different Bt cottons for the management of bollworms, their effects on non-target insects, and seed cotton yield under insecticide protected and unprotected conditions. Among other important findings, the researchers found that seed cotton yields were 19 percent and 48 percent higher in Bt than in non-Bt cottons under insecticide protected and unprotected conditions, respectively.
The full reports:
The Celeres Ambientel study in Brazil.
The study in the Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences.
The study for ArgenBIO in Argentina.