Illinois Farmer Q&A: How has biotechnology changed your farm?

June 05, 2017

soybean field

You have questions about farm practices and food labels, and Illinois farmers have those answers. We asked local farmers your questions about GMOs so you can get your answers straight from the source.

Let's talk about what's on your table.

“Biotechnology has given us another tool in our farm toolbox. With more choices in seed, we have more choices in how we raise the crop. We use a variety of crop protection tools, which also include pesticides, but we have seen that use decrease. We have adopted cover crops in some fields, which protect our soil and add nutrients and organic material to it. We have been able to control weeds and insects more efficiently because the crops can now fight the problems themselves.”

-Katie Pratt, Dixon, IL

“Planting GMOs allows us to implement more conservation tillage methods and reduce the use of pesticides, for example we no longer need to plan multiple insecticide applications because the trait to affect targeted insect species is already in the corn. Our non-GMO corn needs to be managed differently and in some cases requires more applications of pesticides.”

-Megan Dwyer, Coal Valley, IL

“Because of biotechnology, the chemicals we use on our farms are not as harmful and we do not use nearly as much. We feel that because of all the advancements made in biotechnology we are able to keep the environment and water safer. We test all of our soils before we plant so we only use what fertilizer is needed to keep the soil healthy.”

-Tammy Wakely, Rockford, IL

“Planting GM crops means we use fewer chemicals. Using fewer chemicals not only reduces run-off and keeps our soil and water clean, but also reduces the number of trips through the field. Reducing the number of trips through the field means less soil compaction and fewer emissions from operating machinery. All of these things are positive for the environment and result in a cost savings for us as the farmer - which translates to a more affordable food supply for you.”

-Krista Swanson, Oneida, IL

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