And here’s another benefit of biotechnology: Because we plant GM crops, our greenhouse gas emissions have dropped sharply. We’re doing our part to combat climate change.

I can plant all of my fields with just two big tractors, an air drill, a planter, a big sprayer, and two combines. I’ve seen much smaller farms that use a lot more equipment, spewing out carbon emissions at a far higher rate than we do.

GM crops allow us to reduce the number of times we have to drive over our fields, which means that our environmental footprint has shrunk.

It’s like we’ve reduced our shoe size. When does that ever happen?

Other advantages are harder to spot but they’re equally real. Consider tire wear. I can buy a tractor, use if for 8,000 hours, and sell it with the same tires. This is important because petroleum is an important ingredient in tire manufacturing. The more use we can get out of our tires, the better—it’s good for my bottom line as well as for the environment.

Unfortunately, many nations resist biotech crops because they don’t understand the benefits. Farmers like me in South America already know why GM farming makes sense, as do farmers in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere.

If we’re going to continue reducing footprints around the world, what we must do is spread the word—and on World Environment Day, the United Nations should help us.

Gabriel Carballal farms with his father in Mercedes, Uruguay, growing soybeans, corn, wheat, barley, canola, oats, grass seeds, sorghum and raise beef.  Gabriel is a member of the Truth About Trade & Technology Global Farmer Network (www.truthabouttrade.org).

 

More from Western Farm Press

Wine grape drone flying over California vineyards

Days of wine auctions and gay marriage

Agriculture's burden of technological intolerance

Drip-tape salvation for California farmers?

US farming hardly a recipe for riches

Walking agriculture’s path along the U.S.-Mexico border