Brazil’s adoption of transgenics highest in its history

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SAO PAULO — Three quarters of the area farmed with soybeans and more than half of the area planted with corn used genetically modified seeds in the 2010/11 season, according to the second issue of a study performed by Celeres.

Three out of every four hectares planted with soybeans in Brazil in the 2010/11 crop season were sowed with genetically modified seeds, as revealed by the second monitoring of the adoption of agricultural biotechnology in Brazil, carried out by Celeres consulting company.

High rate

Considering also the area cultivated with transgenic summer corn seeds, winter corn and cotton, this is the highest rate of adoption of transgenics in the history of the national agriculture. And, according to Celeres, it will tend to increase even more over the next years.

In the case of soybeans, for the current crop season Celeres forecasts that 18.1 million hectares are planted with transgenic herbicide-tolerant soybeans, which represents 76.2 percent of the total area sown with the oilseed.

“Farmers are encouraged by a favorable scenario in quotes and must sow 23.7 million hectares with soybeans in the 2010/11 season,” says Anderson Galvao, director of Celeres. Corn crops, however, should occupy 1.22 million hectares — an area 45.5 percent larger than in 2009/10 season.

Varieties

Out of this area, 325 thousand hectares will be planted with genetically modified varieties containing insect resistance technologies, herbicide tolerance or both technologies stacked. This last case, which represents the first crop season using this stacked technology, should reach 7.8 percent of the area with cotton.

Estimates on corn indicate that transgenic hybrids will occupy 57.2 percent of the total area, considering both the summer crop and the mid-season (safrinha) winter crop. In the case of summer corn, the total area farmed with insect-resistant transgenic seeds represents 44.4 percent of the total area.

“The delay in releasing traits containing herbicide-tolerant technology limited the access to that technology this crops season, but it should be more present in the winter mid-season crop,” explains Anderson Galvao.

Estimates

For winter corn, estimates are that 75.4 percent of the area are farmed with transgenic hybrids, when, according to Celeres, the insect-resistance technology is more used.

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