Based on farm field plot level survey data and laboratory test, we examine the determinants of the expression of Bt toxin in China’s Bt cotton production. The results show that the expression of Bt toxin differs significantly among varieties. Even for the same variety the expression of Bt toxin also varies substantially among villages and among farmers in the same village. Econometric analyses show that after controlling for the effects of varieties and locations (or villages), farm management, particular applications of phosphate and potash fertilizers, and manure, has significant positive effects on Bt toxin expression in farmer’s fields. In contrast to previous studies which showed that nitrogen fertilizer has a positive impact on expression of Bt toxin, this study shows that nitrogen fertilizer has no significant impact on expression of Bt toxin in farmer’s fields. On the other hand, the expression of Bt toxin has a positive relationship with phosphate fertilizer, potash fertilizer and manure application.
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Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is the largest cotton production region in China. However, because of the hot and dry climate, the cotton bollworm is not a serious problem in Xinjiang.
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The authors are grateful to the staff of the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy who worked so hard in collecting data. We would also like to thank Carl Pray, Scott Rozelle, Robert Tripp, and Ellie Osir for their comments. Additionally, the authors acknowledge the financial supports of this study from the GMO Program of the Ministry of Agriculture (2011ZX08015-002A), National Natural Science Foundation of China (71273290), and International Development Research Center (IDRC).
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Huang, J., Mi, J., Chen, R. et al. Effect of farm management practices in the Bt toxin production by Bt cotton: evidence from farm fields in China. Transgenic Res 23, 397–406 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-013-9775-7