Biotech benefits

Farm income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2015

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Abstract or Summary

This paper provides an assessment of the value of using genetically modified (GM) crop technology in agriculture at the farm level. It follows and updates earlier annual studies which examined impacts on yields, key variable costs of production, direct farm (gross) income and impacts on the production base of the 4 main crops of soybeans, corn, cotton and canola. The commercialisation of GM crops has occurred at a rapid rate since the mid 1990s, with important changes in both the overall level of adoption and impact occurring in 2015. This annual updated analysis shows that there continues to be very significant net economic benefits at the farm level amounting to $15.4 billion in 2015 and $167.8 billion for the 20 year period 1996–2015 (in nominal terms). These gains have been divided 49% to farmers in developed countries and 51% to farmers in developing countries. About 72% of the gains have derived from yield and production gains with the remaining 28% coming from cost savings. The technology has also made important contributions to increasing global production levels of the 4 main crops, having, for example, added 180 million tonnes and 358 million tonnes respectively, to the global production of soybeans and maize since the introduction of the technology in the mid 1990s.


Farm income and production impacts of using GM crop technology 1996–2015 (held on an external server, and so may require additional authentication details)

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