Farmers Recognize Environmental Benefits of GM Crops

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Hardwick sees advantages for land, wildlife and society.

Since first commercialized in 1996, GM crops have enabled farmers to incorporate farming practices that are more environmentally responsible – most notably decreased plowing and reduced pesticide applications.

“Over the last 10 years, many farmers in our area – and I think this is throughout the United States – have come to realize that we have had an impact upon the environment,” says U.S. farmer Jay Hardwick, who grows biotech corn, cotton and soybeans. “With the potential of biotechnology and reducing pesticide amounts on the landscape and into the water systems … we’re addressing those problems that are critical to the society at large of clean air and clean water. And, I like knowing that. And, I want to be a part of that.”

According to a study released by the National Center of Food and Agricultural Policy (NCFAP), GM crops have enabled U.S. farmers to make annual reductions in pesticide applications of 46 million pounds since 1996. Biotechnology has also helped farmers control weeds without plowing the land. Leaving the farmland undisturbed has reduced soil erosion, runoff, tractor fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions that result from cultivating the soil.

“We’re using a lot of new biotech materials that allow us to not cultivate the land as hard,” says Hardwick in a new video and podcast available at biotech-gmo.com. “As a result of us crop mixing and keeping crop residue on the ground and alternate crops, we have a new foraging opportunity for wildlife.”

“It’s just a real treat to see that,” continues Hardwick. “And to say that agriculture is helping is a real success story that needs to be told.”

Jay Hardwick’s exclusive interview – as well as interviews with three of his fellow U.S. farmers, Al Skogen, Gordon Wassenaar and Paul Aasness – can be found at Monsanto Company’s Conversations about Plant Biotechnology website: http:/http://www.monsanto.com/biotech-gmo/new.htm

Contact:

Michael Doane

314-694-8351

michael.k.doane @ monsanto.com

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Michael Doane
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