Brazil, one of the world's most populous nations, has joined neighboring Argentina in approval of the cultivation and sale of wheat that is genetically modified to resist drought — another milestone in the campaign to apply biotechnology to food directly consumed as part of the human diet.
A simulation by Texas A&M scientists indicates that winter wheat is a feasible cover crop for cotton growers in the arid Plains, says one of the researchers.
Researchers at Purdue say genetically engineering plants to produce high levels of the protein PYL9 can dramatically improve drought tolerance in rice.
"Around the world, researchers are working to create genetically modified crop varieties that can withstand severe drought, expected more often with climate change, or thrive on arid lands now considered unsuitable for farming," writes Matt Weiser for Ensia.
Sorghum is enjoying a resurgence after years of being over-shadowed by corn, thanks in large part to large exports to China that have boosted market prices.
With California headed for a fourth year of drought, the outlook for the growing season is grim. "But our situation is not hopeless," says Helene Dillard, dean of agriculture at UC-Davis.
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton "expressed enthusiasm for biotech seeds" and suggested the industry should stress the benefits of the crops, such as drought resistance, rather than the umbrella description...