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Re: Bt GM Cotton less profitable than conventional Cotton as 'stink bugs' h



I feel I must comment on this. Regarding Bt Cotton in Australia, sometimes
it does cost more to grow than conventional cotton and sometimes it doesn't.
However I don't believe that is a valid argument against GM crops. It has
been shown that Bt cotton can significantly reduce the number of broad
spectrum insecticides used on cotton - which is both an environmental and
economic benefit. Cotton growers are willing to spend more on crops to find
the right solutions, even if it means a yield sacrifice. I believe this
shows their integrity and commitment to the long-term future of the
industry. It is hard to explain this point without going into a long-winded
explanation of the different types of chemistry used in cotton production;
however most of the environmentally friendly products (soft options as we
call them) cost alot more per hectare than conventional broad spectrum
chemistry. Therefore a grower can be spending more per hectare to use more
selective products, to allow the numbers of beneficial insects to bulid up
the crop. Quite often the grower will accept a yield decrease as well, in
order to discover how to make a true integrated pest managment approach
work. That is why an Ingard cotton crop can sometimes have a lower gross
margin than conventional cotton, even if the crop has had fewer
insecticides. Anti-GMO activists may not believe this, but it is true.
Also, because of the higher number and greater diversity of insects present
in an Ingard crop, pests that were only ever a minor problem in the past are
now increasing in significance (such as the "stink-bugs" referred to). This
will be one of the major challenges of making IPM work. Currently there is
no selective soft-option chemistry available to control these minor pests,
because they were never a problem in the past with conventionally sprayed
cotton.
Please don't jump to conclusions about this situation until you have spoken
to people working in the field and utilising the technology.
I will be happy to provide more information if it is requested, but for the
sake of the list I'll keep this to a minimum.
Cheers
Kym Armytage
(Cotton Agronomist - Wee Waa   NSW)


----- Original Message -----
From: Roberto Verzola <rverzola@phil.gn.apc.org>
To: <gentech@ping.de>
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2000 8:16 AM
Subject: Bt GM Cotton less profitable than conventional Cotton as 'stink
bugs' h


> * Original date  : 11 Apr 2000 23:57:4
> * Original is by : nlpwessex@bigfoot.com
> * Full text below:
>
>
>   Bt GM Cotton less profitable than conventional Cotton as 'stink bugs' =
> hit back
> ( the address of this page is =
> www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/btcottonnoprofit.htm )
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -------
>
> 11 April 2000  =20
>
> As the acreage of GM crops in the US has rapidly expanded over the last =
> 3 or 4 years, more and more research has been slowly emerging from US =
> universities demonstrating that these crops rarely provide economic =
> benefits to farmers.  Either yields are disappointing or the anticipated =
> cost savings are not materialising ( for more on this visit our web site =
> at http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/gmagric.htm ). This =
> has become particularly apparent with herbicide resistant and Bt corn =
> products.  =20
>
> However, despite early warning signs that the technology is already =
> breaking down, up until now it has been assumed in many quarters that =
> the one genuine GM financial success story for US farmers has been Bt =
> cotton.  Farmers have been reducing insecticide applications on these =
> crops without damaging financial returns - or at least that is how it =
> appeared.  =20
>
> The latest report from North Carolina State University now shows that in =
> fact there is no financial gain to be had for farmers even from growing =
> Bt cotton - in fact the latest figures show that normal cotton is =
> marginally ($2 per acre) more profitable.   This is a blow to the =
> reputation of the biotechnology industry's flagship GM crop, and it =
> places a further major question mark against its long term role in US =
> and global agriculture.  =20
>
> The full North Carolina State University report can be read at  =
> http://www.cropsci.ncsu.edu/ccn/2000/ccn-00-3d.htm. However, we provide =
> extracts plus observations of our own below.   There is now not a single =
> major GM commodity crop in the US which has successfully delivered what =
> was originally promised of it by pro-biotechnology academics and =
> industry - even though much of the farming community, the general public =
> and the media may have been lead into believing the opposite. =20
>
> This situation is a graphic illustration of how a major 'technology' has =
> been rapidly introduced into society on the back of  vested-interest =
> propaganda and not sound science (to find out how this situation has =
> been carefully constructed by the biotechnology industry visit: =
> www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/gmlemmings.htm ). =20
>
> These latest revelations regarding the hidden, but all too common, =
> non-delivery of genuine added-valued benefits from GM crops raise major =
> questions about the future economic sustainability of the use of =
> recombinant DNA technology in agriculture. For the moment, however, they =
> certainly represent yet another great disappointment for farmers, many =
> of whom are still prepared to place their faith in the ag-biotech =
> industry despite its persistent track record of broken promises.
>
> NATURAL LAW PARTY WESSEX
> nlpwessex@bigfoot.com
> www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex=20
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -------
>
> NLP Wessex comments on:   '2000 Bollgard Cotton Performance Expectations =
> for North Carolina Producers', North Carolina Sate University Extension =
> Service=20
>
>     1.. This report was published by North Carolina State University, =
> March 2000.  It is produced by JACK S. BACHELER, Professor of Entomology =
> ( http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/DIRECTORY/bacheler.html ).
>    =20
>     2.. The report is based on research data gathered since 1996 on 360 =
> Bt ('Bollgard') cotton fields and 360 conventionally grown cotton =
> fields.
>    =20
>     3.. To some degree Bt cotton has been successful in reducing damage =
> from 'bollworm', 'European corn borrer' and 'fall armyworm'. In some of =
> these cases the report confirms around 50 - 60 % reductions in crop =
> damage.
>    =20
>     4.. However, the report also startlingly reveals that at the same =
> time damage to cotton 'bolls' in Bt crops from 'stink bugs' have =
> increased in Bt cotton by a staggering 430% compared to conventional =
> cotton. (A full 'Powerpoint' slide analysis of the situation including =
> data on stink bug damage to Bt varieties compared with conventionally =
> managed cotton is also available from =
> http://ipmwww.ncsu.edu/cotton/updates/slideshow/stinkbug/sld013.htm - =
> the last three varieties listed on this slide are the conventionally =
> managed varieties which have zero damage.  Elsewhere the slide show =
> confirms that: "Bolgard cotton additionally has brought about increased =
> stink bug levels". The entire presentation can be downloaded as a =
> Powerpoint file from =
> http://ipmwww.ncsu.edu/cotton/updates/slideshow/stinkbug/stinkbug.ppt).
>    =20
>     5.. The net result is that total boll damage from all pests combined =
> was only slightly less in the Bt cotton.=20
>    =20
>     6.. Because the overall difference is so small the 'advantages' =
> provided by the Bt cotton were insufficient to recover the additional =
> cost of the Bt seed, with the result that the University predicts that =
> conventional cotton will be marginally more profitable than Bt cotton =
> for farmers in 2000 (by $2.21 per acre).
>    =20
>     7.. The concluding advice from North Carolina State University is:
>    =20
>     "With the overall insect-related costs and returns of the two =
> systems so close, the importance of varietal selection, especially =
> choosing those varieties with a 2 or 3-year history of favorable =
> Official Variety Test results, when possible, is very important. =
> Planting Bollgard (or stacked-Bollgard plus Roundup Ready) varieties =
> with little or no North Carolina testing history can be risky."=20
>    =20
>     Additionally the university states that with the continued use of Bt =
> cotton "shifts toward higher stink bug, and sometimes plant bug, levels =
> can be expected".=20
>    =20
>     8.. A lot of American farmers are notorious for bad farming practice =
> - particularly in their failure to rotate crops properly and to deploy =
> systems of integrated pest management. This style of farming encourages =
> pest infestations. =20
>    =20
>     9.. Were systems of integrated crop management to be deployed more =
> fully in the US then it is likely that the financial balance would be =
> tipped even further away from GM crops in favour of conventional seed =
> varieties.
>    =20
>     10.. It is ironic, therefore, that the US is trying to impose these =
> types of crop on the rest of the world, when primarily they have been =
> developed as a 'crutch' to support its own bad husbandry practices. =
> These have already lost US farmers control over much of their local =
> 'agro-ecology'. =20
>    =20
>     11.. It is already clear that this 'crutch', far from helping the =
> situation, is playing its role in creating ever greater long term =
> husbandry problems for US farmers.  Even before these latest findings in =
> North Carolina farmers in US southern states had been prohibited from =
> planting more than 50% of their acreage to Bt crops because of the risk =
> of the rapid development of pest resistance which threatens to make the =
> technology impotent.
>     ( see: http://www.ncga.com/02profits/insectMgmtPlan/fig1a.htm and =
> http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jan2000/2000L-01-17-06.html )
>    =20
> Now that the sacred cow of GM crops (Bt cotton) is starting to slide off =
> her throne perhaps there is the chance that US farmers will finally wake =
> up from their slumber. Perhaps they will be prepared to learn some =
> important lessons vital to their own self-preservation against the =
> parasitic might of the monopolistic transnational biotechnology =
> corporations - in particular: =20
>
>     a.. Never believe any claims from the biotechnology industry until =
> those claims have been demonstrated over a respectable period of time by =
> independent research in realistic conditions.
>    =20
>     b.. Don't grow GM crops just because your neighbour does - ask him =
> to provide independent research data from field trials supporting his =
> variety selection decision. The chances are your neighbour is just =
> following his own neighbour without access to data.
>    =20
>     c.. It really is no good thinking that you can outsmart nature =
> through invasive technology of this kind.  You have to work with nature =
> not against her, because she is always much smarter than any man in a =
> white lab coat.=20
>    =20
>     d.. Start taking a look at integrated pest and crop management =
> systems. They give you back control, satisfaction, and they work.=20
>    =20
>     e.. Start using your mind and not your bank loan facility.  Put =
> money into your own pocket not the biotechnology industry's.
>    =20
>     "Farmers will be given just enough to keep them interested in =
> growing the crops, but no more.  And GM companies and food processors, =
> will say very clearly how they want the growers to grow the crops."
>     Friedrich Vogel, head of BASF's crop protection business (Farmers =
> Weekly 6 November 1998)
>    =20
>     f.. For more information on the use of integrated pest and crop =
> management systems in the US and elsewhere see:
>     http://www.pmac.net/ and =
> www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/geneticsmyth.htm=20
>    =20
> NATURAL LAW PARTY WESSEX
> nlpwessex@bigfoot.com
> www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex=20
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -------
>
>     2000 Bollgard Cotton Performance Expectations for North Carolina =
> Producers=20
>
>     Jack S. Bacheler, Extension Entomologist
>     North Carolina State University
>     (CCN - 00 - 3d  March 2000)
>
>     Table 2. Average Projected 2000 Insect Control Costs and Damage =
> ($/Acre) of Bollgard vs. Conventional Cotton for North Carolina =
> Producers:
>
> Items  Bollgard Conventional =20
>             Ave. technology fee \a 19.14 0.00=20
>             Insect control cost \b
>             (no. of applications) 5.63
>             (0.75 apps.) 18.98(2.53 apps.)=20
>             Insect damage \c
>             (% damaged bolls) 0.00
>             (4.47%) 6.08
>             (5.25%)=20
>             Addit. Scouting fees \d 2.50 0.00=20
>             Total: $27.27 $25.06=20
>    =20
>     a Technology fee varies according to seed rate and row spacing.
>     b Pyrethroid =3D $5.50/acre; application =3D $2.00/acre.
>     c Damage: Value of the difference in damage shown in bold.- 1% boll =
> damage equals approx.12 lb. lint/acre; Cotton =3D $0.65/lb.
>     d Scouting requirements for Bollgard typically exceed those needed =
> for conventional cotton.
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -------
>
> Fundamental scientific conceptual errors in the development of =
> recombinant DNA technology=20
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
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