GMO sugar beets help farmers reduce herbicide, water and fuel use, improve soil

| | December 1, 2017
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Credit: Ozgur Coskun/Shutterstock.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

You could say sugar-beet sugar runs through the blood of Luke Adams.

“I grew up a sugar beet farmer,” Adams said. “My parents grew sugar beets, so I’m second generation sugar beet farmer, third generation farmer here in Idaho.

He said he has seen the changes in growing firsthand, from irrigation to GPS harvesting. It’s all helped his job get easier.

But nothing has helped quite like the genetically modified seed. Adams said growers are spraying less herbicides, using less water and diesel, and they have better soil.

On top of all that they have a lot more beets. Before genetically modified seeds, growers would yield anywhere from 25 to 30 tons of beets per acre. Now it’s closer to 45 tons per acre.

“Still with real high sugar content,” Adams said.

“They went from having to spend an inordinate amount of time and effort and resources controlling weeds in sugar beets to it becoming very simple for them,” [said Don Morishita, a weed scientist at the University of Idaho].

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: How genetically engineered sugar beets impact the farmer, the factory and you

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