New, drought-resistant strains of corn helped farmers get through the drought in 2012 that cut the harvest to about 75 percent of what would have been expected with ordinary weather, according to “U.S. Drought 2012: Farm and Food Impacts,” a recent USDA report. Even with pressure from the drought, the harvest was a quite sizeable.
“The harvest was the eighth largest in U.S. history, a reflection of a big increase in recent years in the number of acres planted and crop technology that has improved plants’ ability to withstand drought,” according to a recent article from the Associated Press. READ MORE »
Approval of GM Papaya supports U.S. economic growth
Japan’s decision to approve genetically modified (GM) papaya produced by Hawaiian farmers will create U.S. jobs and boost exports, the Associated Press reports.
USDA Under Secretary Michael Scuse said in a statement, “This announcement will ensure that Hawaii’s papaya producers help to drive our agricultural economy by expanding exports, creating jobs, and strengthening our nation’s competitiveness.” Read more.
Biotechnology advances needed to increase global cotton production
Global cotton production, which is expected to see slow growth the rest of this decade, could benefit from advances in biotechnology to increase yields, Delta Farm Press reports.
Dr. Terry Townsend, executive director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee in Washington, said, “It is likely that over the next several decades, new advances in technologies could trigger another period (or two) of rapid growth in cotton yields.” Read more.