- Created on Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:35
In 2010, the USA continued to be the largest producer of biotech crops in the world with a global market of 45% and gained US$4.5 billion in farm income. In 2010, the USA planted a record hectarage of 66.8 million hectares of biotech maize, soybean, cotton, canola, sugarbeets, alfalfa, papaya and squash, up from the 64.0 million hectares in 2009 and equivalent to a year-on-year growth rate of 4.4%.
The increase in biotech crop hectarage of 2.8 million hectarage between 2009 and 2010 was the second largest, after Brazil, for any country in the world. The USA also leads the way in the deployment of stacked traits in maize and cotton which offer farmers multiple and significant benefits. In 2010, the USA benefited from a third season of commercializing biotech RRsugarbeets which again occupied ~450,000 hectares equivalent to a 95% adoption, in only its fourth year of commercialization; this makes RRsugarbeets the fastest ever adopted biotech crop. When this Brief went to press, the legal situation regarding the production of seed for 2010 was still uncertain.
The adoption rates for the principal biotech crops in the USA for soybean, maize, cotton, canola and sugarbeets are close to optimal and further significant increases will be achieved only through stacking of multiple traits in the same crop or introduction of new biotech crops and/or traits. A US study on the economic benefits of Bt maize reported that area-wide suppression of the European Corn Borer pest in both Bt maize and non-Bt maize crops resulted in a gain for farmers of US$6.9 billion over the 14 year period 1996 to 2009. Importantly, the indirect benefit associated with non-Bt maize (US$4.3 billion) was 62 percent, greater than the direct benefit of US$2.6 billion from planting Bt maize.