A healthy agricultural production system cannot exist without healthy soils. Aside from being the habitat of diverse organisms that contribute to carbon sequestration, the soil plays a vital role in food production as well as in climate change mitigation.
With biotech products such as herbicide tolerant crops, conservation practices have been used not just to the farmers’ advantage, but also to preserve soil health.
Effect of GM crops on soil health
Soil health is evaluated based on how soil performs its capacity to promote plant growth and productivity. This growth-promoting role should be preserved for future use.
Herbicide tolerant (HT) crops tolerate exposure to broad-spectrum herbicides like glyphosate and glufosinate, which are also among the safest kinds used in farms …. When the HT crops are exposed to these herbicides, they do not die, unlike the weeds surrounding them. Thus, HT crops promote no-till or conservation tillage. After herbicide application, the weeds die and work as a blanket that protects the soil from wash off. With less or no tilling, there would be less soil erosion. This would mean more water retention and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
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