WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2016 – Genetically modified crops may not be popular among certain aspects of the population, but those responsible for their growth see the technology as an essential tool.

survey of 282 U.S. farmers shows 98 percent of them think GMO seeds – typically bred to be resistant to things like certain crop protection chemicals – are the best way to lessen their environmental footprint, and 69 percent believe the technology leads to higher yields.

"The farmers' perspective in the survey findings are a direct indication of how important genetic engineering technology is for the environment and our food supply, and how it benefits farmers and consumers alike,” Chip Bowling, a past president of the National Corn Growers Association and the current vice chair of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, said in a statement.

NCGA and USFRA – two groups that have publicly supported the use of biotechnology in the past – released the survey results.

Some other findings from the survey:

  • 87 percent of producers said GMO seeds allow them to reduce their pesticide and herbicide usage;
  • 64 percent said GMO seeds allow for efficient management of resources, specifically, fuel, time and less wear-and-tear on their equipment;
  • 78 percent foresee increased environmental impacts—including an increase in water usage and application of pesticides—if GMO seeds were not to be available to them as a choice in crop production;
  • 92 percent of those surveyed have been using GMO seeds for 10 or more years, and grow a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans, alfalfa, wheat and cotton.

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