First GMO sugarcane planted in Brazil

| | March 6, 2018

Brazilian sugar mills looking to grow the world’s first variety of genetically modified (GM) sugarcane have planted an initial area of 400 hectares (988 acres), according to the research firm behind the project.

Developed by Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira (CTC) with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) genes that make it resistant to the cane borer, around 100 mills are working with the GM cane, company Chief Executive Gustavo Leite told Reuters.

The cane borer is a widespread insect that costs Brazilian mills around 5 billion reais ($1.5 billion) per year in losses and insecticide expense.

Development of new sugarcane varieties is seen by experts as key to improving agricultural yields, reducing production costs, and increasing profit margins in an industry struggling with low global sugar prices.

Read full, original post: Brazil sugar mills start genetically-modified cane plantation

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