TCE - I.M.B.
Genetically Modified Soybean
The Great Braila Island Farm
Lucian Buzdugan - General Manager March 23, 2010
Soya in Romania
Leading soya producing country in Europe
Production of about 300 to 350 Thousand Metric Tons (Italy produces about 500 TMT)
But small by world standards (0.15% of total global production)
Highly concentrated cultivation area
60% of GM soya (84kha) grown in 3 counties (total of 142kha GM soya in 2006)
Core group of very large, highly professional growers with +500ha of farmland
Roundup Ready Soya
One of the first GMO crops registered for cultivation in Europe (1999)
Very rapid uptake and penetration
5 Monsanto RR varieties
1 Pioneer RR variety
EU accession of Romania – 01 January 2007
No transition requested by Gov’t for continuing GM soy cultivation during accession talks
Intensive activist activity to destabilize existing situation and stop extension of RR
registration into 2007 upon EU accession
RO Gov’t announced a huge subsidy program for 2006 to support cultivation of conventional
Soya hectares grown by county
Soybeans area [ha]
█ 10000 &+ ha
IASI █ 5000-10000 ha
BIHOR █ 1000-5000 ha
█ 300-1000 ha
█ 100-300 ha
█ 0-100 ha
The evolution of the soybeans The evolution of the soybeans total
cultivated area production
200 199,2 350
140 143,9 250 240,7
120 117 118 121 200
86,1 150 145
60 61,6 100 94,5
20 15,5 17,3
0 0 0 0
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
GM Soybean Total area
Total soybean Soybean's total production
The Great Braila Island
RR soybean The evolution of soybean cultivated area
How conventional soybean compares
economically with RR varieties?
2007 comparable prices
(1 EUR= 3.4 RON)
Notes MU %
Average Production Kg/ha 3.500 1.200 290
Total income per ha
Ron / ha 4.810 1.820 263
*price per ton (equiv. 300 €) Ron / ha 3.500 1.200 291
*direct payment (per hectare) 80 € Ron / ha 260 260 100
*subsidy per tonne 300 RON Ron / ha 1.050 360 291
Total costs, of which: Ron / ha 1.840 2.460 75
*herbicides Ron / ha 80 860 9,3
Profit / loss Ron / ha + 2.970 - 640 -
The comparative costs with herbicides
for soy production – 2007
Conventional soybeans RR soybeans
Name of product Treatment MU Cost Total Cost
crt Dose Cost Dose Cost Total
Unit with cost Unit with
UM/ha per ha UM/ha per ha Cost
price treat per ha prize treat
1. Gliphosate Pre-emergent l 3,0-4.0 16,7 14.73 2.35 17.08 - - - - -
2. Guardian Pre-emergent l 2,5 6,8 50 2.35 52.35 - - - - -
3. Sexone 75 DF Pre-emergent kg 0,3 133 11.74 2.35 14.09 - - - - -
4. Harmony 50 SG Post-emergent kg 0,025 4.455 32.76 2.35 35.11 - - - - -
5. Basagram F Post-emergent l 2,5 60 44.12 2.35 46.47 - - - - -
6. Pulsar 40 Post-emergent l 1,0 126 37 2.35 39.35 - - - - -
7. Pantera 40 EC Post-emergent l 1,6 50 23.53 2.35 25.88 - - - - -
8. Glyphosate l 3,0 16,7 14.73 2.35 17.08 - - - - -
9. Glyphosate Post-emergent l - - - - - 2 16.7 9.82 2.35 12.17
10. Glyphosate Post-emergent l - - - - - 2 16,7 9.82 2.35 12.17
Total X x x x 228.6 18.8 247.41 x x 19.64 4.7 24.34
Why ROUNDUP READY soybeans?
No Till (directly drilled after harvest) Min Till
Why ROUNDUP READY soybeans ?
Wheat in no till system Same field at harvest time
Why ROUNDUP READY soybeans ?
Characteristics of RR soybeans Characteristics of conventional soybeans
High green mass ; Less
Le green mass with less nitrogen fixing bacteria
More numerous nitrogen fixing The nitrogen amount left in the soil is 10
bacteria Chemical nitrogen fertilizer needed
The nitrogen amount left in the soil Pollution of the water table
is 50-100 kg/ha; Increased weed seed reserve in the soil
Nitrogen chemical fertiliser is Numerous ag operations resulting in additional
necessary in reduced volume costs
A much lower presence of tough Harvest quality is poorer
weeds in the following crop
Better control & planning of farm
activities, less peaks (3 major crops);
Biodiversity conservation around
RR soya fields
Relative simple technology based
on a single herbicide
Herbicide tolerant biotech crops
Summary of key attributes
Increase yields significantly;
Diminish soil erosion and compaction (min till);
Significant benefits in the crop rotation pattern;
Significant reduction in number of sprayings;
Permanent reduction in fuel use and CO2 emissions;
Produce better crop (and food) quality;
Increase convenience and management flexibility;
Conservation of soil moisture;
Increase the efficiency of water usage;
Contribute to sustainable economic benefits.
What are the expectations of the
From the European Commission
To approve the re-introduction of RR soybean into cultivation in Romania, that
Has favorable climatic conditions.
Suitable for up to 1 million ha.
Can be self-sufficient for vegetable protein
Can provide substantial amounts (1-2 million tons) of soybeans to the EU mkt .
Production costs for RR soybeans are lower than for conventional varieties.
Environmental benefits due to less pesticide application.
To approve cultivation of 3 types of transgenic maize (that are already authorized for
Among all EU countries, Romania has the widest weed reserve
The herbicide treatment expenditures would diminish drastically.
Beneficial impact over environment.
Improved quality of final product.
To allow Member States to make their own decision regarding the cultivation of PG crops,
after EFSA scientific opinion issued.
To support and guarantee all agricultural systems – organic, conventional and biotech.
What are the expectations of the
From the Biotechnology Research
To focus on and deliver products addressing their needs:
Row and oilseed crops and with draught resistance (wheat, corn, soybeans etc.).
Rapeseed resistant to coleopterans (cheuthorincus), attack, but also tolerant to low
temperature (to avoid winterkill) and…..
Maize – events with resistance to a wider pest range (ostrinia, helicoverpa, agriotes spp,
tanymecus spp and tetranychus).
Crops (other than legumes) able to efficiently utilize the atmospheric N and to generate
biologic N in the soil
Crops able to tolerate salty soils and/or excess humidity.
Plants able to better use macro- and micro elements of the soil through increased
Crops able to process increased amounts of CO2 to reduce greenhouse effects.
Crops suitable to green energy production, as an alternative to the depleting resources
for conventional energy.
Conclusion: Europe must move forward
Publicly acknowledge agricultural biotechnology;
Allow EFSA to deliver safety opinions on biotech products and base decisions on
Allow biotech products to be placed on the market;
Set up workable thresholds for adventitious presence of biotech seeds in seed lots;
Monitor implementation of measures to ensure alignment with the EU
recommendations on coexistence.
European farmers should support technology more vocally;
Policies should not discriminate against biotechnology;
Need to actively inform citizens about the technology, its safety, its advantages and
the existing regulatory framework.
Instead of “The End”…
•Who benefits from the fact that Romania (one of the few EU
countries with suitable conditions) is not allowed to cultivate
•Who benefits from the fact that EU is permitted to import and
consume RR soybeans, but not to plant it?
•Who benefits from Romania annually leaving 3 million ha of
arable land uncultivated (of which 1 million could easily be
devoted to RR soybeans)?
•Who benefits from the fact that Romania, from a regional
exporter, has turned into a net importer of vegetable protein?