Modern Agriculture with Bayer | The Dream of Life in the Countryside
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Craig and Danne Reed made the move: After years in the IT industry, they now work in agriculture. Today, they cultivate about 2,000 hectares of farmland in Kansas. The whims of Mother Nature affect their lives, but so far they have managed to face every challenge.
Climate change and agriculture
While climate and herbicide resistance problems are impacting the yields of wheat growers all over the world since the 1990s, what is unquestionably and urgently needed is bigger harvests. “The demand for staple foods will rise by 60 percent by 2050,” says Steve Patterson, Bayer Global Crop Manager Cereals. “The demand for wheat is driven by the growing world population, followed by the shifting diets of the new middle classes in emerging countries.”
However, production is unable to keep up. In addition, a recent study revealed that wheat harvests could decline by six percent for every one-degree-increase of climate warming. “To close this gap and safeguard the wheat supply, we need a technological breakthrough in wheat research,” says Patterson. Miracles should not be expected though. “We’re never going to be able to grow wheat in the Sahara and we can’t bring withered plants back to life. But we can help to compensate for drought-related harvest losses. We can help the plants to perform better in key phases of drought and heat stress.”
Modern farming with Bayer Crop Science
Bayer scientists are looking for chemical innovations to serve as a protective shield for plants in emergency situations. Meanwhile, researchers are also working on developing wheat varieties with greater vigour and enhanced heat tolerance. To adapt wheat varieties to the respective climate conditions, Bayer’s breeding work is carried out all over the world testing locally adapted varieties at breeding stations in Canada, Belgium, Germany, France, Ukraine, Australia and the United States. The aim of the research is to increase their environmental tolerance and robustness. The breakthrough is expected to arrive after 2023.
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