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Good day, for what trait in GM crops are the most widly planted globally today? For example, Hetbicide tolerant, Drought tolerant, insect resistant ect. Thank you

Submitted by: Dewald van Niekerk


Expert response from Community Manager

Friday, 28/12/2018 17:13

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) published a 2017 report, titled “Biotech Crop Adoption Surges as Economic Benefits Accumulate in 22 Years,” that indicates herbicide tolerance was the most widely planted trait in 2016 and 2017. Published in that report was the following table that details the global area of biotech crops by trait per million hectares. You can find this table on pg. 104 of the ISAAA report.




Note:  Gene stacking refers to the process of combining two or more genes of interest into a single plant. You can find more information on stacked traits here.


Today GM crops are planted globally for a variety of reasons. Katie Pratt, Farmer, Illinois offered details on why GMOs are planted and the benefits they offer in a previous response.


Quite simply, genetically modified crops have given us farmers the ability to do more with less. On our farm we have seen a decrease in use of fuel because we are not in our fields as much; our pesticide use has decreased. We have been able to incorporate cover crops, no-till and other conservation methods more freely because we've been able to control weed, pest and disease pressure better with genetically modified seed.


Additionally, in their latest brief on the “Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops,” ISAAA reports on the benefits of biotech crops throughout the world.


“The more than 18 million farmers (up to 90% were small/poor farmers) in up to 30 countries who have planted biotech crops attest to the multiple benefits they derived in the last 21 years as follows:

• Increased productivity that contributes to global food, feed, and fiber security;

• Self-sufficiency on a nation’s arable land;

• Conserving biodiversity, precluding deforestation and protecting biodiversity sanctuaries;

• Mitigating the challenges associated with climate change; and

• Improving economic, health, and social benefits.


We hope this answers your question, if you have any other questions about GMOs or biotechnology, please ask here!