More than 75% of soybean, cotton and corn acres planted by US farmers are genetically engineered

Genetically engineered seeds were commercially introduced in the U.S. for major field crops in 1996, with adoption rates increasing rapidly in the years that followed. By 2008, more than 50% of corn, cotton, and soybean acres were planted with genetically engineered seeds.

The total planted acreage with GE seeds has only increased since then, and now more than 90% of U.S. corn, upland cotton, and soybeans are produced using GE varieties. GE crops are broadly classified as herbicide-tolerant only, insect-resistant only, or stacked varieties that combine both HT and Bt traits in a single seed.

In the chart, both HT and Bt lines include stacked varieties which are a combination of both type of traits. Although other GE traits have been developed, such as virus and fungus resistance, drought resistance, and enhanced protein, oil, or vitamin content, HT and Bt traits are the most commonly used in U.S. crop production. While HT seeds are also widely used in alfalfa, canola, and sugar beet production, most GE acres are planted to three major field crops: corn, cotton, and soybeans.