Biotech Updates

University of Leeds Study Reports Crop Breeding Not Keeping Pace with Climate Change

June 22, 2016

According to research led by the University of Leeds and published in Nature Climate Change, crop yields will fall within the next decade due to climate change unless immediate action is taken to speed up the introduction of new and improved varieties.

The research focuses on maize in Africa, but the underlying processes affect crops across the tropics. Looking at a range of data on farming, regulatory policy, markets and technologies, the researchers developed average, best and worst case scenarios for current crop breeding systems. They found that crop duration will become significantly shorter as early as 2018 in some locations, and by 2031 in the majority of maize-growing regions in Africa. Only the most optimistic assessment – in which farming, policy, markets and technology all combine to make new varieties in 10 years – showed crops matched to temperatures between now and 2050.

For more details, read the news release at the University of Leeds website.