Farmers in South Dakota are watching closely to see how the new drought-tolerant biotech corn varieties perform when rainfall is six inches short over the last two months.
“I think it will be a good year even if we don’t have those 200 bushel yields,” Jared Questad, a farmer in Baltic, S.D., told KELO TV in Sioux Falls.
Questad, who is also a seed dealer for Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, has the new AQUAmax variety in test plots. Other farmers in the area are testing Monsanto’s DroughtGard. The trials will help determine the viability of the new products under real-world conditions.
“We’re going to find out this year because this is the largest, widest range testing that’s going to be done on these products,” said Larry Wagner, agronomy crops field specialist at South Dakota State University Extension.
Drought tolerance is another trait brought to field crops by biotechnology, says Corby Jensen, Monsanto’s technology development manager for Nebraska and the Dakotas.
“It’s about the whole package, eliminating weeds that can rob the soils of valuable water, better genetics, residue management, using no-till practices have been a proven way to conserve soil moisture. So, again it’s about putting all those pieces together to give yourself the best chance at success possible,” Jensen said. Read more.