Herbicide Tolerant Soybeans

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Herbicide Tolerant Soybeans are soybeans genetically engineered to survive being sprayed with a specific herbicide. The first generation of HT soybeans included Roundup Ready Soybeans, made by Monsanto to resist spraying by its best selling herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). Roundup Ready Soybeans were widely adopted, resulting in the evolution of glyphosate resistant weeds. With the reduced efficacy of Roundup Ready crops due to the so-called 'superweeds,' biotech companies began creating crops resistant to other herbicides. For example, Monsanto created soybeans resistant to the herbicide dicamba.[1]

Adoption Rates in the U.S.

Following the 1996 introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans, their adoption by U.S. farmers grew. The USDA offers data on the percent of soybeans in the U.S. that are herbicide tolerant between 2000 and 2012:[2]

  • 2000: 54%
  • 2001: 68%
  • 2002: 75%
  • 2003: 81%
  • 2004: 85%
  • 2005: 87%
  • 2006: 89%
  • 2007: 91%
  • 2008: 92%
  • 2009: 91%
  • 2010: 93%
  • 2011: 94%
  • 2012: 93%

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