Biotechnology Is Providing Solutions for Growing Crop Demand

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tuesday, August 12, 2008) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) issued today its August Crop Production report containing NASS’s estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. 

According to the report, U.S. farmers are on pace to produce the second largest corn crop and fourth largest soybean crop in history. 

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president, food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response to the NASS August Crop Production report:

“Meeting the growing demand for row crop supplies for food and energy production is being achieved thanks in part to innovations in plant biotechnology. 

“According to USDA’s report issued today, soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 15 percent from last year.  Corn yields are expected to average 155 bushels per acre, up 3.9 bushels from last year. If realized, this would be the second highest corn yield on record, behind 2004.

“Plant biotechnology helps contribute to crop yield increases, allowing farmers to meet the growing demand for food, feed and fuel.  Currently, 91 percent of soybeans and 73 percent of corn grown in the United States are biotech varieties, which enable these plants to resist insect and weed threats. 

“In the very near future, biotechnology will allow crops to survive in drought and other adverse growing conditions.  These breakthroughs will not only help American farmers, but farmers around the world.”

USDA’s Crop Production report is published monthly and is available online 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.