farmers checking plants

Why bother growing GMOs?

Just like consumers have choices in what they buy at the store, farmers choose what they plant in their fields. Some farmers grow genetically modified (GM) crops to withstand certain weather or pest issues, while others might grow non-GM varieties because of economic benefits.

Here are some things farmers consider when choosing what to grow:


Farmers study, read and listen to industry experts to guide decision-making on their farms. They might alternate or switch up their methods over time – but it all comes back to what works best for their fields and their customers.

Both GM and non-GM crops are deemed safe by hundreds of organizations, including the World Health Organization, U.S. Food an Drug Administration and the European Academies Science Advisory Council.


No matter the type of crop, sustainability practices are important to farmers. Fields planted with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) generally require fewer field passes with a tractor, resulting in less impact on the soil and fewer emissions from farm equipment.

Food Supply

Farmers choose the type of seeds – GMO or non-GMO – that work best for their farm. Regardless of the seed type, all crops are needed to contribute to the world’s food supply. Choice in the grocery store means choice in the field. Non-GM crops tend to cost more to compensate farmers for the extra labor it takes to control pests and manage the soil.

Pest Control Options 

GM seeds often have select traits so the plant can fight pests (weeds and insects), ultimately reducing pesticide use. It’s also important to know that the pesticide is not directly injected into GM seeds. GMO or non-GMO, all farmers use pesticides sparingly and only where they’re needed.