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Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

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Economic Research Report No. (ERR-162) 60 pp, February 2014

Cover image for ERR162 Genetically engineered (GE) crops (mainly corn, cotton, and soybeans) were planted on 169 million acres in 2013, about half of U.S. land used for crops. Their adoption has saved farmers time, reduced insecticide use, and enabled the use of less toxic herbicides. Research and development of new GE varieties continues to expand farmer choices.
Economic Research Report No. (ERR-162) 60 pp, February 2014

Cover image for ERR162 Genetically engineered (GE) crops (mainly corn, cotton, and soybeans) were planted on 169 million acres in 2013, about half of U.S. land used for crops. Their adoption has saved farmers time, reduced insecticide use, and enabled the use of less toxic herbicides. Research and development of new GE varieties continues to expand farmer choices.

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Published by: Children Of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance on Feb 26, 2014
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Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo, Seth Wechsler, Mike Livingston, and Lorraine Mitchell
Economic Research ServiceEconomic Research Report Number 162February 2014
United States Department of Agriculture
Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States
 
Economic Research Service
www.ers.usda.gov
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United States Department of Agriculture
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Recommended citation format for this publication:
Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge, Seth Wechsler, Mike Livingston, and Lorraine Mitchell.
Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States 
, ERR-162 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February 2014.
Cover image: Shutterstock.Use of commercial and trade names does not imply approval or constitute endorsement by USDA.
 
United States Department of Agriculture
Economic Research Service
Economic Research Report Number 162February 2014
Abstract
More than 15 years after their first successful commercial introduction in the United States, genetically engineered (GE) seeds have been widely adopted by U.S. corn, soybean, and cotton farmers. Still, some questions persist regarding the potential benefits and risks of GE crops. The report finds that, although the pace of research and develop-ment (measured by the number of USDA-approved field tests) peaked in 2002, other measures show that biotech firms continue to develop new GE seed varieties at a rapid pace. Also, U.S. farmers continue to adopt GE seeds at a robust rate, and seed varieties with multiple (stacked) traits have increased at a very rapid rate. Insecticide use has decreased with the adoption of insect-resistant crops, and herbicide-tolerant crops have enabled the substitution of glyphosate for more toxic and persistent herbicides. However, overreliance on glyphosate and a reduction in the diversity of weed management practices have contributed to the evolution of glyphosate resistance in some weed species.
Keywords:
Genetically engineered crops, agricultural biotechnology, seed industry, research and development, adoption, crop yields, pesticide use, corn, soybeans, cotton
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank ERS colleagues Paul Heisey, Marca Weinberg, and Utpal Vasavada for their helpful comments provided on earlier drafts of this report. We also thank Michael Schechtman, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Office of Pest Management Policy; Neil Hoffman, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Mark Petry, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service; George Frisvold, University of Arizona; and Corinne Alexander, Purdue University. We also thank Dale Simms for editorial assistance and Cynthia A. Ray for graphics and layout, both ERS.
Jorge Fernandez-Cornejo, Seth Wechsler, Mike Livingston, and Lorraine Mitchell
Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

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