Genetically engineered seeds planted on corn, cotton and soybean acres

In 2015, over 90 percent of corn, cotton and soybean acres in 2015 utilized seeds of genetic origin. U.S. farmers have adopted such seeds since their commercial introduction 20 years ago.

This, despite the often higher cost of utilizing such seeds in the production of crops.

Herbicide tolerant (HT) crops, developed to survive the application of specific herbicides that would have destroyed the crop along with the targeted weeds, provide farmers with a broader variety of options for weed control.

Insect resistant crops (Bt) contain a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. This soil bacterium produces a protein toxic to specific insects. It protects the plant over its entire life.

"Stacked" seed varieties carry both HT and Bt traits. Now, they account for a large majority of GE corn and cotton seeds.

In 2015, adoption of GE varieties, including those with herbicide tolerance, insect resistance or stacked traits, accounted for 94 percent of cotton acreage, 94 percent of soybean acreage (soybeans have only HT varieties) and 92 percent of corn acreage planted in the United States.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC - 20250

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