Brazil’s Biotech Crops Drastically Cut Water Use

Brazil’s Biotech Crops Drastically Cut Water Use

September 1, 2014
Water 

One of the benefits of plant biotechnology is its ability to conserve water by reducing the need for tillage. Certain biotech crops can also cut water usage by reducing the need for agrochemical applications.

For example the adoption of soybean, corn and cotton biotech crops in Brazil has cut water use dramatically. From 1996-97 to 2012-13, these crops saved more than 35 billion liters of water – enough to supply 807,000 people every year for 15 years. Most of that saving is attributed to herbicide-tolerant soybeans and insect-resistant corn.

From 2012 to 2022, biotech crops in Brazil are expected to save an additional 169 billion liters of water – enough to meet the water needs of 3.9 million people for ten years. Based on this benefit alone, the planting of biotech crops in Brazil will continue to play a huge part in its efforts to farm more sustainably.