Lab Canada

Ontario farmers continue to increase their use of biotechnology

Guelph, ON — January 14, 2004 — Farmers in Ontario continue to plant crops created through biotechnology at increasing rates. This trend appears to be global, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).

“Biotechnology offers a useful tool to help farmers control pests more efficiently using less pesticide, and adopt better soil management practices such as no-till,” says Greg Hannam, AGCare chair. “The use of biotechnology continues to increase in Ontario because it helps farmers improve their bottom line by reducing input costs and improving efficiency.”

It is estimated that approximately 50% of soybean and corn, and over 90% of canola acres grown in Ontario were genetically modified (GM) varieties. The proportion of GM corn and soybeans is up slightly from 2002 (45% and 45-50%, respectively), while GM canola acreage has remained the same. Farmers in Ontario have steadily increased their use of biotechnology since GM crops were approved for planting in 1996.

AGCare (Agricultural Groups Concerned About Resources and the Environment) is a coalition of 17 agricultural groups that represent Ontario’s 45,000 growers of field and horticultural crops.

The organization provides science and research-based information and policy initiatives on pesticide use, crop biotechnology developments, nutrient management and other related environmental issues on behalf of its membership.