The GM research is driven by the needs of the consumer. Increased water deficient conditions in Southern United States is compelling economic stimulus through investments in such endeavors funded indirectly and collectively by large organizations' stock holders.

 Innovators, Innovations and the Economy Index

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Monsanto: Drought Resistant Corn

Monsanto is one of the leading innovators in sustainable agriculture today. Combining biotechnology with farming, Monsanto strives to develop improved, enhanced crops for a brighter future. On March 13th, 2012, Monsanto Co. announced their plan to commence “large-scale tests…of the first government approved biotech crop developed to deal with drought.” Commercialization is expected to begin later in 2012.

Monsanto infused the Cold Shock Protein B gene, cspB, from the common soil bacteria, Bacillus subtilis, with commercial corn to produce the new DroughtGard Corn. “According to Monsanto in the case of corn, ‘CspB works by helping the plant maintain growth and development during times of inadequate water supply. A corn plant is particularly vulnerable to drought during reproductive growth stages.’” By withstanding drought conditions, the new DroughtGard corn will improve crop yield during water shortages. With eminent climate changes and increased drought conditions throughout the United States, this technology is invaluable.

(Citations 27,28,29,30)


Bayer Crop Science: Drought tolerant Cotton

As seen in the rising global demand for cotton today, this fiber is without a doubt an essential aspect of the agricultural community. With three commercially available cotton varieties enhanced with insect-resistance and more already on the market, Bayer Crop Science is currently developing a new drought-tolerant variation of cotton. Following years of field testing and research, “Bayer CropScience AG and Performance Plants Inc. (PPI) (Kingston, Canada) have entered into a research and commercial license agreement, giving Bayer exclusive rights for PPI's Heat & Drought Tolerance Technology (HDT™) in cotton.”

(Citations 31,32,33)

International Rice Research Institute: Drought-Tolerant Rice

Drought has long been the most detrimental factor to rice yield for centuries. As of October 12th, 2011, three new drought-tolerant rice varieties have been developed for the Bangladesh region.  BRRI dhan-55,56 and 57, as opposed to rain-dependent varieties, have a shorter maturation season and increased vigor and thus are not adversely affected by drought conditions. These two genetically enhanced varieties will also be of utmost “economic significance to other districts that are known drought hot spots – Kushtia, Magura, Chuadanga, and Jessore – where rain seldom occurs and is erratic and uncertain during the last week of September and in October when rice planted in aman needs water”  (Citation 34,35) Producing up to 1.2 tons more yield per hectare than current varieties despite a month of no rain, BRRI dhan-55, 56 and 57 will secure rice agriculture against changing climates and water shortages.

(Citation 36)

The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution – the use of pesticides, better manufacturing and genetic engineering to increase crop yield, opened agriculture to a modern era. These improved, genetically modified plants improved production by up to 25%. However, while these crops increased yields with sufficient water and fertilizer, they were useless in less ideal environments. According to BBC News, “in some countries [in Africa], yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020”. In fact, current climate changes have increased drought-affected areas. Luckily, the innovation of drought tolerant GMOs provide an alternative for presently available crop varieties.
(Citation 37)


Other Innovations

Sturdier GMOs such as the International Rice Research Institution’s BRRIdhan-55, 56 and 57 rice and Monsanto’s DroughtGard corn require less water and have shorter maturation seasons. These innovations allow drought-stricken farmers around the world to prevent natural weather conditions from devastating their livelihoods (See 3.1 below). In this way, Biotechnology innovators such as Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science and the IRRI secure the future of agriculture from modern climate change.

(Citations 38,39,40)


Economic Benefits from Genetically Modified Crops 

With increase in the use of GM crops in American agriculture, amount of pesticides employed by farmers has decreased. This results in a higher profit margin in the long run as GM crops are able to produce higher yields to compensate for the higher price of GM seed.


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