Australian Farmers Cite Crop Management and Environmental Benefits with GM Cotton Crops

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Grower reduces pesticide applications.

It’s just so fortunate to experience the benefits from the GMO technology and see that unfold through the rest of the environment

Australian farmers were among the first in the world to plant biotech cotton in 1996, and today, more than 90 percent of the 320,000 Australian cotton hectares is planted to biotech varieties. More than half of those varieties offer traits for both insect protection and improved weed control – two of the greatest challenges faced by cotton producers worldwide.

“We saw heavy insect pressure early in the season, and … the GMO technology just eradicated any issues,” says Australian cotton farmer Paul Brimblecombe in a new video and podcast available at biotech-gmo.com. “In the past, up to 85 percent of our time has been concentrating around insect monitoring. And this year, we’ve been able to trim that percentage of time back.”

Research conducted by Brookes and Barfoot of PG Economics indicates Australian farmers reduced pesticide applications by 9.2 million kg between 1996 and 2004. “The lesser applications of insecticide equates to greater than 40 kg of active chemical not being applied within our farming area – let alone within the industry,” Brimblecombe comments on his 2004-05 cotton production.

“It’s just so fortunate to experience the benefits from the GMO technology and see that unfold through the rest of the environment,” says Brimblecombe. This exclusive interview with Paul Brimblecombe – as well as two of his fellow Australian farmers Bob Newell and Betsy Turner – can be found at Monsanto Company’s Conversations about Plant Biotechnology website: http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo/new.htm

Editor’s Note: Pesticides registered by the U.S. EPA will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on man or the environment, when used in accordance with label directions.

Contact:

Michael Doane

Monsanto Company

314-694-8351

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