Despite mounting controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods, many U.S. farmers plan to plant GM crops again this year because they are easier and cheaper to grow and there’s still a big market for them in the U.S. The major biotechnology companies, including Monsanto and Novartis, have held forums around the country this winter to reassure farmers about the market for GM foods, and Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland, two of the largest grain-handling companies in the U.S., have pledged to buy gene-altered crops from farmers. The big seed companies say they expect GM plantings this year to be about equal to those last year, about 60 million acres of corn and soybeans. But some farmer associations say the biotech companies are exaggerating the numbers and playing down growing farmer resistance to GM technology.