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Article

Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada
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Academic Editors: Martina Zeleňáková and Jitka Fialova
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111679
Received: 28 September 2021 / Revised: 15 October 2021 / Accepted: 21 October 2021 / Published: 22 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioeconomy, Circular Economy and Sustainability)
In the early 1990s, tillage was the leading form of weed control, with minimum/zero-tillage management practices incapable of long-term continuation. Presently, weed control through tillage has virtually disappeared as cropland management systems have transitioned largely to continuous cropping, with zero to minimal soil disturbance. Research was undertaken to examine what was driving this land management transition. A carbon accounting framework incorporating coefficients derived from the Century Model was used to estimate carbon sequestration in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The results quantify the transition from farmland being a net carbon emitter to being a net carbon sequesterer over the past 30 years. This evidence confirms the correlation between genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant crops and glyphosate use is a driver of the increased soil carbon sequestration. The removal of tillage and adoption of minimal soil disturbances has reduced the amount of carbon released from tillage and increased the sequestration of carbon through continuous crop production. Countries that ban genetically modified crops and are enacting legislation restricting glyphosate use are implementing policies that Canadian farm evidence indicates will not contribute to increasing agricultural sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon dioxide; climate change; herbicide tolerance; land management change; Saskatchewan; soil organic carbon; sustainability carbon dioxide; climate change; herbicide tolerance; land management change; Saskatchewan; soil organic carbon; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sutherland, C.; Gleim, S.; Smyth, S.J. Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration. Sustainability 2021, 13, 11679. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111679

AMA Style

Sutherland C, Gleim S, Smyth SJ. Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration. Sustainability. 2021; 13(21):11679. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111679

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sutherland, Chelsea, Savannah Gleim, and Stuart J. Smyth. 2021. "Correlating Genetically Modified Crops, Glyphosate Use and Increased Carbon Sequestration" Sustainability 13, no. 21: 11679. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111679

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