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GMO vs. Organic

  1. Dec 18, 2008 #1
    How do GM crops (both current and potential in the near future) compare with organic in terms of output per acre? How does it compete with such methods as Fukuoka Natural Farming, and other forms of permaculture?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2008 #2
    So no one knows?
     
  4. Dec 22, 2008 #3

    Monique

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    You are asking for numbers, apparently no one has a good source for that.
     
  5. Dec 24, 2008 #4
    If no one has numbers then a general assessment would be ok. Even an opinion would be welcome also.
     
  6. Dec 24, 2008 #5

    CRGreathouse

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    Fine, here are ballpark figures. Don't take them as any more than that.
    Genetically modified crops have yields 50% to 100% higher than traditional crops farmed in the modern style. Organic farms have yields of about 50% to 70% that of modern farms. Thus organically-grown, non-genetically modified crops have 25% to 50% that of genetically-modified crops grown in modern fashion.
     
  7. Dec 24, 2008 #6

    russ_watters

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    Just in case it wasn't clear (it is covered in the numbers in CRGreathouse's post), there are actually two separate issues here:
    GM vs non-GM crops
    modern farming (with pesticides and fertilizers) vs. farming without 'unnatural' chemical aids.
     
  8. Dec 24, 2008 #7
    Yeah, although I was aiming more towards organic farming instead of conventional, since the advantages over conventional are pretty clear.


    Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2009 #8
    Came across this FYI
    http://www.chinadialogue.net/articl...-GM-crops-are-not-the-answer-to-world-hunger-

    With specific regard to the question of yields, all major GM crop varieties in cultivation have produced yields that are lower than, or at best, equivalent to, those of non-GM varieties.

    Studies from 1999 to 2007 consistently show Monsanto's Roundup Ready (RR) GM soya to have 4% to 12% lower yields than conventional varieties. Yields of GM soybeans are especially low under drought conditions. Due to pleiotropic effects, when stems split under high temperatures and water stress, GM soybeans suffer 25% higher losses than conventional soybeans. The “yield drag” – or yield suppression – of RR soya is reflected in flat overall soybean yields from 1995 to 2003, the very years in which GM soya adoption went from 0% to 81% of US soybean acreage. By one estimate, stagnating soybean yields in the US cost soybean farmers US$1.28 billion in lost revenues from1995 to 2003.

    Only maize shows a persistent trend of yield increase into the biotech era, but even here the rate of increase is no greater after than before biotech varieties were introduced. For example, a rigorous, independent study conducted in the US under controlled conditions demonstrated that Bt maize (see “Is GM the answer to the food crisis”, Taige Li) yields anywhere from 12% less to the same as very similar conventional varieties.
     
  10. Jan 6, 2009 #9

    baywax

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    Genetically modified livestock...

    http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=386
     
  11. Jan 6, 2009 #10

    mgb_phys

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    Remember as well that most commercial crops are already pretty heavily genetically modified as a result of centuries of careful breeding. I would expect GMO versions of wheat,maize etc to show the smallest advantage just because of the law of diminishing returns - there isn't much left to optimize.
     
  12. Jan 6, 2009 #11

    baywax

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    I think there's a difference between methodical agricultural breeding, hybrid grafting etc... over much time and transfecting a species with genes from a spider or anteater or with mutant genes resistant to "round-up" or with genes from "who knows where" that cause self-production of an insecticide.
     
  13. Jan 6, 2009 #12

    mgb_phys

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    Yes there is a difference - I just meant that the biggest changes wouldn't be in intensively farmed crops because they have already been changed so much.

    There is also a difference between the promised benefits of GMO (drought resistance, natural pest resistance) and what has been delivered (crops that can withstand, and need, 10x as much weedkiller or require a specific company manufactured fertilizer to grow)
     
  14. Jan 6, 2009 #13

    baywax

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    Yes there's been so many millennia of agriculture to change the wheat and the barley. Did you know the average Sumerian, 7000 years ago, drank 1 gallon of beer a day?

    This is disheartening unless you have stock in herb/pesticides. Even then the implications show the potential for a scary monopoly and degradation of overall health.:mad:
     
  15. Jan 6, 2009 #14

    mgb_phys

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    Now theres a solution to the middle east - everybody so pissed/hungover they can't fight.
     
  16. Jan 6, 2009 #15

    baywax

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    :rofl: I wish!
     
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