Agricultural Biotechnology: Helping Increase Crop Yields for America's Farmers
Did You Know?
In the United States, agricultural biotechnology, along with better agronomic practices adopted in recent years, has helped increase farmers’ crop yields -- the amount of the crop harvested per acre of land. Thus, biotechnology helps farmers produce more food, feed, fuel, and fiber on the same amount of land. The results since biotech crops were first commercialized in 1996 have been dramatic.
In the United States, where 88 percent of the nation's corn acreage is planted with biotechnology varieties (USDA ERS, 2012), the average yield (bushels per acre) of corn for grain in 2011 was 34 percent higher than in 1995—the last year before biotech varieties were first planted (USDA NASS).
Ninety-four percent of the U.S. soybean acreage is now planted with biotech varieties (USDA ERS, 2012). Soybean yield has increased 19 percent since 1995 (USDA NASS).
Ninety percent of U.S. upland cotton is now genetically engineered (USDA ERS 2012). Cotton yields have increased approximately 23 percent (USDA NASS) since the period 1990-1995.
U. S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Report, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S., 2012. hhttp://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us.aspx
United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS). http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_Subject/index.php?sector=CROPS