U.S. farmers prefer biotech varieties of corn, soybeans, cotton herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits, according to a USDA Economic Research Service report. Its key findings on adoption of genetically engineered (GE) crops found:

  • Adoption of GE soybeans is 91% in 2009.
  • Adoption of all GE cotton reached 88% in 2009.
  • Adoption of all biotech corn climbed to 85% in 2009.

“Ag biotechnology has significant environmental benefits because biotech crop varieties thrive with less tilling and fewer pesticide applications, saving fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the air,” says Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president for the Biotechnology Industry organization (BIO).

She says in 2007, this was equivalent to removing 14.2 billion kg. of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or nearly 6.3 million cars from the road for one year.