Proceedings

PR – Case Study Analysis Of The Benefits Of Genetically Modified Cotton

Research in north and south New South Wales (NSW), Australia was conducted to assess the benefits of genetically modified (GM) cotton. Gross margins from 20,263 hectares on two properties for a three to five year period were analysed. A phone survey of cotton growers in the target districts was also used to determine grower opinions on benefits of cotton type. This also allowed for comparison between growing regions. Performance of cotton types is extremely variable, with no cotton type having a clear economic advantage. In years with high weed and/or Heliothis pressure, the financial return of GM cotton should be better than that of conventional cotton. However, findings indicate that GM cotton displays significant environmental and social benefits, due to reduction in chemical use and easier management. Although not as profitable, southern growers have adopted management practices to improve profitability and prefer GM Cotton because it is “easier to grow”. Keywords: genetically modified cotton, environmental benefits, social benefits.

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Author(s): Back, W., Beasley, S.

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Organizations(s): School of Natural & Rural Systems Management, University of Queensland, Gatton