Nagesh Chimmiri, Kerry W. Tudor, and Aslihan D. Spaulding
Illinois State University.
McLean County, Illinois farmers were surveyed in order to explore their perceptions of biotechnology and genetically modi- fied crops, and to analyze the relationships between those per- ceptions and choices regarding use of genetically modified crops. Statistical analyses revealed that perceptions could be used to distinguish between users and non-users of genetically modified crops, but the approach was more effective for past use than for planned use. Perceptions that were related to past use of genetically modified crops included satisfaction with the benefits of biotechnology, the perception that biotechnology would be beneficial to agriculture, and the perception that farm- ers were well informed and could easily obtain objective infor- mation about biotechnology. Perceptions of the agronomic and economic benefits of genetically modified crops, with the possi- ble exception of Bt corn, were of limited use when distinguishing between users and non-users. Age, education, and farm size had limited impact on choices regarding genetically modified crops.
Key words: Biotechnology, genetically modified corn, genetically modified soybeans, farmer perceptions.