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How quickly do GM crops grow?

how quickly do gm crops grow

Submitted by: erica bowles


Expert response from Lawson Mozley

Sixth Generation Farmer, Master’s Student, Agronomy, University of Florida

Friday, 23/01/2015 12:56

Though many crops that farmers grow today grow faster than those that our ancestors grew, this is not due to genetic engineering or transgenic crops.  Transgenic crops that have so far been released grow at the same rate as any other variety developed within a similar timeframe.  While there are differences in growth rate, even within very similar genetic lines, this is entirely natural in its occurrence.  Plant breeders have been breeding more quickly maturing lines of corn, cotton, soybeans, peanuts and many fruit and vegetable varieties for years, long before even genetic mapping technology existed, much less the capability to manipulate genes.


Ever since Gregor Mendel discovered genetics, we have been seeking ways to use genes to breed better plants and animals.  One of the most useful traits that plants breeders have ever tried to enhance is increased growth rate and shorter production windows.  Plants that grow faster can be harvested earlier, often in more favorable weather conditions, and potentially can even allow for multiple crops in a single year.  This allows for an overall better utilization of land, equipment, labor, and all other resources involved in crop production.