Ag-biotech innovations reap rewards for farmers, food security and the environment

An international report just released shows the significant economic, environmental and agronomic benefits of farmers adopting GM crops.

Chief Executive Officer of the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “The international report from London based PG Economics confirms the importance of Australian farmers having access to innovative, safe and approved technologies to remain globally competitive and farm sustainably in a changing climate.

“Australia was an early adopter of GM technology in cotton. We’ve been growing cotton with GM traits since 1996 and now almost all of Australia’s cotton production is GM. The economic gains and savings have been significant with an average increase of on-farm income at $27.87 per hectare and the average reduction in weed control costs at $90.95 per hectare.

“Since 1996 GM cotton has gained Australian famers almost $1.1 billion.

“Canola is another important crop for Australia’s farming sector with GM varieties delivering yield gains of between five to 22 per cent over their conventional counterparts. GM cotton and canola have also allowed for reductions of on-farm inputs and a reduced and more sustainable use of important crop protection chemistry.

“On a global scale, GM crops are just as beneficial. The report shows that when farmers are given access to GM crops, more food is grown, less fuel is being used on farm and less land is needed for production.”

Mr Cossey concluded, “In May, South Australian growers became the last mainland farmers to finally be granted access to GM crops long after their interstate competitors. South Australia embracing this agricultural technology from next season will see significant environmental and agronomic benefits with the farming sector in SA and nationally continuing to thrive.”

Visit pgeconomics.co.uk to read the full report GM crops: global socio-economic and environmental impacts 1996-2018

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