Survey evidence on producer use and costs of genetically modified seed

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Abstract or Summary

National survey data collected for 1997 in USDA Agricultural Resource Management Study was used to derive implications and pose hypotheses about the impact on pesticide use, production practices, and producer costs of using genetically modified (GM) seed in soybean and cotton production. Results of the analysis suggest concurrence with scientific and industry claims about the environmental qualities of these technologies. Herbicide treatments on herbicide-resistant acreage were, on average, less than on other acreage, with more of the treatments in post-emergent applications. The mean value of insecticide treatments for target pests on Bt cotton acreage was reduced relative to other acreage with these pest problems. However, mean costs and mean yields on acreage planted in GMseed relative to other acreage did not indicate a cost advantage, or disadvantage, for the GM seed technologies. Additional research is needed to determine whether these suggested relationships hold when critical variables within aggregated groups are tested for their independent influence.

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