This report focuses on the changes in the area of genetically modified (GM) grain corn and soybeans, comparing the year 2001 with 2000. In the 2001 growing season, total GM area increased significantly for both GM grain corn and soybean crops in Quebec and Ontario. The number of large farms seeding GM crops rose considerably, while the number of small- and medium-sized farms growing GM crops was quite unchanged. The increase in GM soybean area was higher than that of GM grain corn. Farms growing both corn and soybeans made the biggest contribution to the increase. The increase appears to be a consequence of both higher average area of GM crops grown per farm by farmers who grew GM crops in 2000 and, to a lesser extent, the adoption of GM technology by new farmers. Most of the increased GM area was in Quebec, where the area seeded to GM grain corn rose 30.3% and to soybeans, 63.0%. In Ontario, the increase was 11.3% for grain corn and 25.4% for soybeans. In both provinces, the greater GM area for soybeans was more than double the increase in GM area for grain corn. In Quebec and in Ontario, the proportion of GM grain corn and soybean area to total grain corn and soybean area has increased significantly. In Quebec, GM area accounted for 31% of grain corn area and 27% of soybean area in 2001 compared to 27% and 17% respectively in 2000. In Ontario, the proportions were 29% for grain corn and 23% for soybean in 2001 compared to 27% and 17% respectively in 2000. In 2001, the proportion of large farms (total operated area greater than 980 acres) reporting GM grain corn or soybeans increased more than any other farm size category. This was especially apparent in Quebec. However, the small farm category, which accounted for the largest proportion of GM area in 2000, saw its share drop significantly in 2001. Statistics Canada's November Farm Survey data shows that yields for GM soybeans and grain corn have been better than yields for non-GM crops, and that growing GM grain corn and soybeans appears to have improved the average yield for both crops.


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