40 percent of Maine field corn called modified

Posted June 08, 2009, at 10:31 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Agriculture officials say 40 percent of Maine’s field corn acreage last year was genetically modified, which is half the national rate.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, Maine farmers last year planted some 29,000 acres of field corn, which is primarily used for livestock feed. The figure does not include sweet corn, the type that is sold at roadside stands during the summer.

Of the total, nearly 12,000 acres were genetically modified for herbicide tolerance or insect resistance.

The survey was the first time that Maine field corn farmers have been polled on their use of genetically modified varieties.