Ag biotech used in combination of traditional control methods have helped to eradicate a harmful pest. According to a new study by the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Arizona, genetically engineered cotton and the use of conventional pest management systems helped rid the U.S. and Northern Mexico of pink bollworm. The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The pest was particularly problematic for cotton producers in Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico. Growers had to apply pesticides as often as 25 times a year in an effort to gain some kind of control over pink bollworm. After large-scale coordination between multiple agencies, industry groups, biotech companies, and academic institutions, a successful campaign was launched to combat the pest. The study indicates that eradication of pink bollworm has helped to save American cotton growers nearly $200 million dollars a year between 2014 and 2019 alone.
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