QGmo manufacturers claim their products will lower the use of pesticides. However, pesticide use is increasing due to bt resistance from pests and increasing populations of non-targeted pests. How do manufacturers of GMOs plan to combat the increased cos

Gmo manufacturers claim their products will lower the use of pesticides. However, pesticide use is increasing due to bt resistance from pests and increasing populations of non-targeted pests. How do manufacturers of GMOs plan to combat the increased costs to farming resulting from higher costs due to decreased productivity and increased pesticide costs?

AExpert Answer

Planting of Bt crops has significantly lowered the use of insecticides in cotton and corn. After over a decade of widespread Bt crop use, it is not too surprising that some insect pest populations are now evolving resistance to this trait. Consequently, farmers may be using insecticides to combat these Bt-resistant pests. It is important to note, though, that Bt-resistant insects are not the only reason for using an insecticide in addition to Bt corn hybrids; some farmers use the two tools in combination to manage secondary insect pests and also to try to prevent resistance from evolving. While I cannot speak for the companies that provide pesticides and seed, many of them have a long history of providing cost-effective technologies to help farmers. Pest resistance to pesticides is not a new phenomenon. Today's farmers are savvy businessmen and businesswomen in addition to being skilled biologists, and they've been dealing with pesticide-resistant weeds, diseases and insects for many years. Industry, USDA, and university scientists are always studying innovative ways to manage pests, and I have no doubt that we will continue to find economical and environmentally friendly solutions to future pest problems.

Posted on March 9, 2018
Thanks for the question. I believe you are asking about how corn hybrids are produced. For starters, corn plants have both female (silks and cobs) and male parts (tassels). This means that in a field of corn, any plant can fertilize any other plant (hybrid), including itself (inbred).   Breeders create new hybrids by cross pollinating genetics of a specific male inbred (plants with uniform performance) with a specific female inbred. This is done by planting one row of the male... Read More
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Posted on May 4, 2018
There would be more public seed development if genome editing technologies like CRISPR are not regulated as GMOs. Single point mutations are an extension of the undirected mutation breeding that is commonly used now. Having genome editing regulated like conventional plant breeding would allow university plant breeders to use the technology to develop new varieties without the stigmatism of them being GMOs. As for would it allow for more start-up seed companies, this is more doubtful. It is... Read More
Posted on May 4, 2018
There would be more public seed development if genome editing technologies like CRISPR are not regulated as GMOs. Single point mutations are an extension of the undirected mutation breeding that is commonly used now. Having genome editing regulated like conventional plant breeding would allow university plant breeders to use the technology to develop new varieties without the stigmatism of them being GMOs. As for would it allow for more start-up seed companies, this is more doubtful. It is... Read More