April 20, 2016. Rowland, North Carolina.
A seed of Pioneer GM corn sits in the furrow dug by the large planter on Bo Stone's farm. The corn seed contain Liberty Link, a Bayer Crop Science owned brand of genes that has a tolerance to Liberty herbicide and glufosinate built in. The pink color comes from the insect repellent that the seeds are treated with.
Bo Stone, age 44, runs a 2300 acre farm near the South Carolina border. After 5 generations of tobacco farming, Stone helped to move his family farm over to corn, wheat, soybeans, and strawberries 7 years ago.
While his corn crop is entirely made up of stacked genetically modified strains of corn, Stone says he chose the varieties primarily for their yield characteristics, but having the ability to utilize their herbicide tolerant traits if a weed gets out of control is "another tool in my toolbox".