Biotech Updates

Drought-Tolerant Crops Will be Available in the Next Decade

June 27, 2008

Drought-tolerant crops are expected to reach farmers as early as 2013, agri-biotech experts said at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) International Convention in San Diego, USA. Speaking at the conference, Dr. Chris Zinselmeier, Program Leader for Water Optimization Technologies for Syngenta, stated, "We are seeing very positive results in experimental lines of plants under drought conditions and can be optimistic about bringing these plants to market in the next decade."

Scientists have developed drought-tolerant corn, cotton, and canola among other crops. These varieties have performed well in field trials. But scientists pointed out that turning these drought resistant varieties into commercial crops will take several more years.

The use of drought-tolerant crops could result in improved yields in variable or dry years, less need for irrigation in normal years and better yields on land previously considered marginal for cost-effective production.

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