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Survey: GMO seeds help growers reduce water, pesticide use

Corn field
New survey from U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and National Corn Growers Association finds protecting the environment a top concern for today’s farmers.

Most U.S. farmers and ranchers believe biotechnology and genetically-modified crops increase crop production efficiency and agricultural sustainability, according to survey results from a poll conducted by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) and the National Corn Growers Association.

The survey of 280-plus U.S. farmers gleaned their thoughts on the value of GMO crops. They weighed in on the impact of GMO technology on the environment, yields, pesticide use, and other issues.

The surveyed growers said the environment and sustainability practices would suffer if the use of GMO technology in crops was reduced in the future. Seventy-eight percent believe water and pesticide use would increase without GMO seeds.

Ninety-eight percent said GMO seeds are their top tool to reduce their environmental footprint. Most of the growers (78 percent) said GMO seeds allow help them minimize their pesticide and herbicide usage.

Other survey findings reveal:

  • 78 percent of farmers use advanced farming practices, including conservation tillage.
  • Two-thirds believe GMO seeds allow for the efficient management of resources, including fuel, time, and less wear and tear on equipment; and
  • Almost 70 percent said GMO seeds produce a higher yield.

“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,” said Chip Bowling, USFRA vice chairman and a third-generation farmer.

Bowling adds, “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.”

To view a summary of the survey, visit

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