U.S. farmers may stop planting GMOs after horrific crop yields20/02/2013 04:28
(NaturalNews) Some farmers across the United States may stop planting genetically modified crops after poor yields are increasing costs beyond what they can absorb.
According to Farmers Weekly, those farmers are considering returning to conventional seed after increased pest resistance and crop failures have meant smaller GM crop yields over non-GM counterparts.
Farmers in the U.S. pay about $100 more per acre for GM seed. Many have begun questioning "whether they will continue to see benefits from using GMs," the farmer's publication reported.
"It's all about cost benefit analysis," economist Dan Basse, president of AgResource, an American agricultural research firm, said.
"Farmers are paying extra for the technology but have seen yields which are no better than 10 years ago," he told the Weekly. "They're starting to wonder why they're spending extra money on the technology."
A problem that is becoming more widespread
The publication said one of the biggest problems U.S. farmers have experienced with GM seed is resistance. When GM seeds were first introduced, biotech engineers said it would be 40 years before resistance would develop; but pests such as corn rootworm have instead developed a resistance to GM crops in as few as 14 years.
"Some of these bugs will eat the plant and it will make them sick, but not kill them. It starts off in pockets of the country but then becomes more widespread," Basse said.
"We're looking at going back to cultivation to control it. I now use insecticides again," he said.
If farmers don't move back towards non-GMOs, the availability of seed will become an issue, he said, noting that some 87 percent of U.S. farmers currently plant genetically modified seed.
Countries around the world that do not use GM seed are outperforming U.S. farmers. The largest crop yields last year were in Asia, and China in particular, where farmers don't plant GM seed.