December 11, 2014
2014/15 Brazilian Soybean Crop is 91.9% GMO, Corn is 88.8% GMO
The use of GMO crops (genetically modified organisms) has been slowly increasing in Brazil and the country is second only behind the United States in the use of this technology. According to the International Service for the Acquisition and Application of Agro-biotechnology (ISAAA), 91.9% of the 2014/15 Brazilian soybean crop will be planted to GMO varieties, which is up from 87% during the last two growing seasons. The greatest use of GMO soybeans is in southern Brazil where the percentage is over 95%. In the newer production regions in northern Brazil, approximately 80% of the soybeans are GMO varieties.
Mato Grosso is the largest soybean producing state in Brazil, but only 85.9% of the soybean crop is estimated to be GMO. A significant percentage of the farmers in the western part of the state still grown conventional soybean varieties (non-GMO) due to the premiums being offered in the marketplace for conventional soybeans. It is also easier for farmers in this region of the state to keep the identity preserved of the conventional soybeans because nearly all the soybeans are exported from a limited number of ports along the Amazon River.
The 2014/15 Brazilian corn crop is estimated to be 88.8% GMO hybrids which is up from 86% and 80% in 2013/14 and 2012/13 respectively. Farmers in the center-west region and in southern Brazil are more likely to use GMO corn hybrids with a little over 90% of the crop planted to the new technology. Northern Brazil lags in the use of these hybrids with only about 60% planted to these hybrids.