Adoption of Biotech Crops by U.S. Farmers Continues to Rise

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, July 01, 2010) - American farmers continue to enthusiastically choose genetically engineered (GE) crops over their conventional counterparts, according to a new USDA report. 

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) report, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S. was released July 1, 2010. Key findings include:

  • Adoption of GE soybeans is 93 percent in 2010.
    (up from 91 percent in 2009)
  • Adoption of all GE cotton climbed to 93 percent in 2010.
    (up from 88 percent in 2009)
  • Adoption of all biotech corn reached 86 percent in 2010.
    (up from 85 percent in 2009)

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to the report’s findings:  

“As expected, this year’s data on adoption of genetically engineered crops provides more evidence that U.S. farmers continue to value biotech varieties of soybeans, cotton and corn for the economic and environmental benefits they provide.  

“A report from the National Research Council (NRC) released April 13 notes, ‘(m)any U.S. farmers who grow genetically engineered (GE) crops are realizing substantial economic and environmental benefits – such as lower production costs, fewer pest problems, reduced use of pesticides, and better yields – compared with conventional crops.’  The report was commissioned and internally funded by NRC in order to evaluate the impact of GE crops on all U.S. farmers.  

“Since 1996, innovations in science and technology have made modern agriculture more sustainable, and agricultural biotechnology has played a key role in that trend.  

“The move to biotechnology and modern farming practices is reflected in the choices of farmers around the world.  In 2009, 330 million acres of biotech crops were planted in 25 countries by 14 million farmers.  

“The next generation of biotech crops, with resistance to environmental stresses such as drought and flood, and the ability to better use soil nutrients, promise to increase productivity in areas with less than adequate growing conditions, including many developing countries.  And we continue to discover new energy sources with biofuels made from corn, wood, grasses, algae and non-edible parts of plants- such as cornstalks.  

“Farmers in the United States and around the world recognize how biotechnology improves their bottom line by reducing their costs and increasing crop productivity.  Agricultural biotechnology is providing science-based solutions to the challenges that we face today and tomorrow to more sustainably feed and fuel the world.”

The report summarizes the extent of adoption of herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant crops since their introduction in 1996. Three tables within the report devoted to corn, cotton, and soybeans cover the 2000-10 period by U.S. state.

A copy of the USDA ERS report, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S. (July 1, 2010) including data tables is posted at

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BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.