What Have Transgenic Crops Meant to Farmers?

2009

  • Joe Lauer
  • UW-Madison Dept. of Agronomy
Project Media

Transgenic corn has dramatically changed the way Wisconsin farmers produce corn. The amount and cost of pesticides used for corn production has decreased, while weed and insect control has improved. Fewer nontransgenic hybrid options are available to farmers (Figure 1). Early adopters of transgenic hybrids have often perceived lower yields, and in general for most transgenic events this observation is accurate. But, within a short period of time transgenic hybrids yield above the average of nontransgenic hybrids more frequently. This “yield drag” or “yield lag” as it has been called by farmers is a major obstacle limiting early adoption of transgenic hybrids.

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