QAre there any statistics showing the increasing harvest by cultivating GMOs like Round Up Ready or genetically modified canola in Canada?

Are there any statistics showing the increasing harvest by cultivating GMOs like Round Up Ready or genetically modified canola in Canada?

AExpert Answer

Genetically modified canola was not bred to be yield enhancing, but herbicide resistant so that farmers could improve their weed control. Canola yields will vary annually according to weather patterns, as is the case for any commodity, whether it is GM or not.

 

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) has some very good statistical data on canola production (http://www.canolacouncil.org/markets-stats/statistics/).

 

For the 15 year period from 1996-2010, the CCC provides estimates of the percentages of the various herbicide (HT) tolerant canola varieties and conventional canola. This include HT varieties that are GM and those that are developed by mutagenesis. By 2010, they stopped collecting this information as virtually all of the canola produced was HT.

 

Looking at the statistics for production in bushels per acre, it shows that prior to GM canola, yields ranged from 20-25 bushels per acre. Even the first 5 years of GM canola being available, yields didn’t change much, with a range of 21-28 bushels per acre. By 2004, the adoption of GM canola passed 70% and the impact of the technology starts to become more evident as yield ranges begin to shift upward, ranging from 27-40 bushels per acre between 2004 and 2014.

 

The statistics for tonnes harvested also reflects the increase in the production of canola, but also captures the yield increases as well. Production has increased from 3-4 million tonnes prior to GM canola to 15 million tonnes presently.   

 

The one thing that has improved canola yields is not a GM technology, but is the application of hybrids to canola. Hybrid varieties have superior yield potential and greatly contributed to increasing canola yields beginning shortly after they were first introduced about 2003.

Posted on March 8, 2018
GMOs will not “save the world,” however they are an important tool in the toolbox for food security and agriculture. Dr. Stuart Smyth, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, explores this topic in depth in a similar question and response here. “No single crop or food production method is capable of feeding the world on its own, so no, GMOs by themselves will not feed the world. However, as part... Read More
Answer:
Posted on March 8, 2018
GMOs are made to achieve a desired trait, such as resistance to an insect or improvement to the ripening process, in order to better meet a customer’s needs. Posted below is a five minute video that offers a great visual illustration on how GMOs are made:     In this response you will also find videos demonstrating genetic modification, showing the basic process for making GM plants. We also encourage you to check out the videos: How Are GMOs Created? and GMO... Read More
Posted on November 27, 2017
Thank you for your question. Similar questions have been answered by a variety of experts on our site. Farmer Mary Mertz answered a similar question, “What are the problems with the seeds of GMOs.” She explains how this question can be answered in a variety of ways and also speaks to this topic firsthand, as she is a farmer herself. “In my opinion, the biggest problem with the seeds is the amount of misinformation that is being circulated out there.  GMOs have a... Read More