Of those who grew Roundup Ready alfalfa, 91% said they were satisfied, very pleased or felt the technology “far exceeded expectations,” according to a University of California survey on the subject.

Survey results were reported at the Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, held Dec. 11-13 in Las Vegas, NV.

A total of 381 growers took the voluntary survey, conducted via the Internet this fall, said Steve Orloff, the Siskiyou County, CA, farm advisor who authored it with Extension forage specialist Dan Putnam. Of those, 113 respondents indicated that they had grown the transgenic legume and were then directed to questions on what they liked and didn’t like about it. For those results, see “Survey Tells What Roundup Ready Alfalfa Growers Like Best.”

The survey’s results covered 27 pages; 14 pages were filled with comments from organic, conventional and Roundup Ready alfalfa growers.

Orloff said it likely overrepresented organic, export and Western growers and underrepresented growers in areas including the Northeast and parts of the Midwest.

Nearly 70% of the survey takers reported that they had not grown Roundup Ready alfalfa, representing about 50% of the alfalfa acreage grown by respondents. About 61% of that group said they didn’t wish to grow the transgenic crop in the future, 21% said they would and 19% indicated “maybe.” A total of 62% of this group, which included organic and conventional growers, felt that other growers should be allowed to grow the crop, either with or without restrictions; 38% felt that others should not be allowed to grow it.

Asked why they didn’t elect to grow Roundup Ready alfalfa, 48% answered that they already had an effective weed-control program; 38%, that they were philosophically opposed to genetically engineered crops; 32%, that they grow organic alfalfa; 24%, that they were concerned about the crop’s marketability, and 21%, that it was expensive.

For more on the survey, watch for Hay & Forage Grower’s January issue.