Agricultural scientists reported in last week’s issue of the journal Science that Bt corn provides significant economic benefits even to neighboring farmers who grow non-transgenic varieties of corn.
The researchers attribute the collateral benefits enjoyed by non-Bt farmers to areawide suppression of corn borers stemming from long-term plantings of Bt-protected crops. Potato, green bean and other host crops also stand to benefit from areawide reductions of corn borers, the researchers note.
“Modern agricultural science is playing a critical role in addressing many of the toughest issues facing American agriculture today, including pest management and productivity,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This study provides important information about the benefits of biotechnology by directly examining how area-wide suppression of corn borers using Bt corn can improve yield and grain quality even of non-Bt varieties.”
For the for full story from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, go to www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2010/101007.htm.