Crop Biotech Update

USW: Biotech Needed to Increase World Wheat Production

October 14, 2011

U.S. Wheat Associates director for policy Shannon Schecht reported during the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) Grain Outlook Conference that U.S. wheat area has fallen by about 10 million hectares to just 22.8 million hectares in the past 20 years.

"In contrast, the soybean area is up seven million hectares to 30.4 million hectares and maize increased by a similar amount of 37.4 million hectares," said Mr. Schlecht.

Mr. Schlecht said that wheat is not keeping up with the production of maize and soybean because biotechnology is not used as much in the two other crops. To encourage development of wheat, the U.S. Wheat Associates has put together a Wheat Industry Biotech Council. He acknowledged the increased funds given to improve wheat, and also the announcement for the trial of wheat in Rothamsted.

"If the demand continues to increase at a similar rate we will need to increase global wheat production from about 700m tones today to 900m tones by 2050 on a similar land area. We will need a technology that can help us increase those yields."

The original news article is posted at http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/07/10/2011/129465/Biotech-needed-to-boot-world-wheat-output.htm.