Adoption rates for genetically engineered (GE) crops increased rapidly following their commercial introduction in 1996. Soybeans and cotton have been among the most widely adopted GE crops in the United States, followed by corn. The data in this dataset is provided by year, State, and genetically engineered seed trait obtained by USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in the Crops/Stocks Survey (or Agricultural Survey) for the years 2000 to 2018.
The 2000-18 GE adoption data were collected as part of the Crops/Stocks Survey that NASS conducts during the first 2 weeks of June and publishes in the NASS Acreage report. Randomly selected farmers across the United States were asked during the first 2 weeks of June if they planted seed that, through biotechnology, were resistant to herbicides, insects, or both. Herbicide-tolerant varieties in the survey included only those developed using biotechnology. Insect-resistant varieties included only those containing the gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Seeds having both herbicide tolerant and insect resistant traits are referred to as “stacked.”
According to NASS, the States in the dataset represent 81-86% of all corn planted acres, 87-90% of all soybean planted acres, and 81-93% of all upland cotton planted acres (depending on the year). The acreage estimates are subject to sampling variability because all operations planting GE varieties are not included in the sample. The variability for the 48 corn States, calculated by NASS using the relative standard error at the U.S. level, is 0.3-1.8% for all GE varieties (depending on the year), 1.6-7.8% for insect-resistant (Bt)-only varieties; 1.6-3.8% for herbicide-tolerant-only varieties; and 0.6-10.8% for stacked-gene varieties. Variability for the 31 soybean States is 0.3-0.8% for herbicide-tolerant varieties, depending on the year. Variability for the 17 upland cotton States is 0.4-2.2% for all GE varieties, 4.6-21.4% for insect-resistant (Bt)-only varieties, 2.6-12.8% for herbicide-tolerant-only varieties, and 0.9-11.6% for stacked-gene varieties.