AUS – GM CANOLA GROWER SURVEY
March 2014. Source: www.grdc.com.au/Resources/Publications/2014/03/GM-Canola-Impact-Survey
More than 1300 grower surveys were conducted to inform the GM Canola Impact Survey. The survey examined adoption patterns; agronomic, economic and environmental impacts; and changes in attitude to the concerns regarding co-existence of GM and non-GM canola production systems.
- When compared to Triazine Tolerant (TT) canola, growers utilising GM Canola achieved more effective weed control, reduced overall pesticide use and improved farming practices (such as enhanced conservation tillage), lower risk of herbicide resistance developing and a lower environmental foot print.
- Effective weed control, in particular control of priority weeds such as herbicide tolerant annual ryegrass and wild radish were primary reasons why growers planted GM canola.
- There was an increasing trend in the level of concern expressed by both GM and non GM canola growers in relation to the development of glyphosate herbicide resistance. In response GM canola growers adopted alternate weed control practices, including the adoption of an alternate knockdown herbicide (paraquat/diquat) and the use of the ‘double knock’ technique prior to planting GM canola.
- Over the three year survey, there was no significant difference in canola yields reported between GM and non GM canola.
- Overall GM canola growers were more likely to use conservation tillage practices than non GMcanola growers.
- On average the cost of weed control using GM herbicide tolerant canola was higher than that of alternate non GM canola weed management programs.
- The economic impacts of GM canola were variable due to the initial lack of access to GM canola varieties adapted to the major canola growing regions, the cost of access to the GM technology and grain marketing/ logistic issues.
- Concerns relating to co-existence failed to materialize with the majority of GM canola and non GM canola growers reporting no impacts on their farming operations. The issue of coexistence has not influenced farmers’ choice in opting to grow GM canola or whether to increase the area of GM canola grown.
- GM and non GM growers participating in the survey indicated that they would increase their adoption of GM canola in the future.
- The major barrier to adoption of GM canola is the perceived lack of economic value derived from the Roundup Ready® canola technology package (i.e. the cost of access + the cost of weed control + yield + farm gate grain price + logistics costs) when compared to the established economic value of the alternate non GM weed control management system options.