Monday, November 13, 2006 - 11:20 AM

Incorporating Transgenic Crops into Farm Systems in the Southern Region.

R.Dewey Lee, Dept. of Crop & Soil Science, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793

Sometimes farmer acceptance of new technology is slow, often taken cautiously with healthy skepticism.  However, since the introduction of transgenic crops in 1996, this technology has gained wide acceptance by mainstream growers.  Growers have extensively adopted Bt corn and cotton, herbicide resistant corn, cotton, soybeans and canola.  These crops have entered into the domestic market without public rejection though with some regulation. However, Bt sweet corn and potatos have not been adopted despite evidence of agronomic benefit.  The reason is due to the fear of market rejection and loss.  Transgenic Bt corn though in the southern U.S. has increased interest in doublecropping due the improve tolerance or resistance to Lepidoptera insects.  As plantings delay into summer, insect pressure  particularly Lepidoptera insects build.  Transgenic Bt technology in corn has widen the window of production under irrigation allowing growers to expand their options following vegetables and other early spring or winter crops. Data from a survey of advisors (University, consultants, industry) on the impact, incorporation and use of transgenic crops in the southern U.S. will be shared.