Benefits of Bt cotton counterbalanced by secondary pests? Perceptions of ecological change in China
- 542 Downloads
In the past, scientific research has predicted a decrease in the effectiveness of Bt cotton due to the rise of secondary and other sucking pests. It is suspected that once the primary pest is brought under control, secondary pests have a chance to emerge due to the lower pesticide applications in Bt cotton cultivars. Studies on this phenomenon are scarce. This article furnishes empirical evidence that farmers in China perceive a substantial increase in secondary pests after the introduction of Bt cotton. The research is based on a survey of 1,000 randomly selected farm households in five provinces in China. We found that the reduction in pesticide use in Bt cotton cultivars is significantly lower than that reported in research elsewhere. This is consistent with the hypothesis suggested by recent studies that more pesticide sprayings are needed over time to control emerging secondary pests, such as aphids, spider mites, and lygus bugs. Apart from farmers’ perceptions of secondary pests, we also assessed their basic knowledge of Bt cotton and their perceptions of Bt cotton in terms of its strengths and shortcomings (e.g., effectiveness, productivity, price, and pesticide use) in comparison with non-transgenic cotton.
KeywordsPest management GM crops Bt cotton Ecological change Biosafety Bollworm Helicoverpa armigera
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bentley, J. (1992). The epistemology of plant protection: Honduran campesino knowledge of pests and natural enemies. In: G. R. Sweetmore (Eds.), Proceedings of a seminar on crop protection for resource-poor farmers. Chatham, UK: Natural Resources Institute.Google Scholar
- Hebei Bureau for Agriculture (2003). Summary of the incidence of other cotton diseases and pests in 2003 in hebei province (Hebeisheng 2003 Nian Mianhua Qita Bingchong Fasheng Zongjie). Internal Government Report 13, Shijiazhuang.Google Scholar
- Heisey, P. (1990). Accelerating the transfer of wheat breeding gains to farmers: A study of the dynamics of varietal replacement in Pakistan. CIMMYT Research Report, No. 1. Mexico: CIMMYT.Google Scholar
- Hsu, H.-H., & Gale, F. (2001). Regional shifts in China’s cotton production and use. Cotton and wool situation outlook 2001. Economic Research Service, USDA, November 2001, pp. 19–25.Google Scholar
- Huang, J. K., Rozelle, S., Pray, C., & Wang, Q. F. (2001). Plant biotechnology in China. Science, 285, 674–677.Google Scholar
- ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications) (2007). Global status of commercialized Biotech/GM crops: 2007. ISAAA Brief 37-2007. http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/37/executivesummary retrieved on 16-01-2009.
- Lang, S. (2006). Seven-year glitch: Cornell warns that Chinese GM cotton farmers are losing money due to ‘secondary’ pests. http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/july06/bt.cotton.china.ssl.html. Accessed 31 July 2006.
- National Bureau of Statistics of China (2003). China statistical yearbook. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
- Shantharam, S., Sullia, S. B., & Shivakumara, S. G. (2008). Peer review contestations in the era of transgenic crops. Current Science, 95, 167–168.Google Scholar
- Turnipseed, S. G., Sullivan, M. J., Mann, J. E., & Roof, M. E. (1995). Secondary pests in transgenic Bt cotton in South Carolina. Beltwide Cotton Conferences (USA), January 4–7, 1995. Texas: San Antonio.Google Scholar
- Wang, Z.-j., Lin, H., & Huang, J.-k. (2009). Scott Rozelle and Carl Pray. Bt Cotton in China: Are Secondary Insect Infestations Offsetting the Benefits in Farmer Fields? (Vol. 8(1), pp.83–90). Agricultural Sciences in China.Google Scholar
- Zhang, G. F., Wan, F. H., Murphy, S. T., Guo, J. Y., & Liu, W. X. (2008). Reproductive biolop, of two nontarget insect species, Aphis gossypii (Homoptera: Aphididae) and Orius sauteri (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), on Bt and non-Bt cotton cultivars. Environmental Entomology, 37, 1035–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar