Biotech aims to combat disease in wheat crops
(NC)—Wheat is one of the world's most important crops, providing 20 per cent of the calories consumed worldwide. This major crop is susceptible to damage from diseases, including stem rust. When stem rust strikes, it can cause significant damage and reduce the size of the crop yield, so farmers rely on fungicides to protect their wheat crops from rust.
South American farmers in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay increased wheat yields by about 13 per cent through the use of fungicide treatments. In Australia, they reduced wheat losses from rust, increasing the food supply by a value of about US $372 million annually. Wheat farmers in Kenya who experimented with fungicides saw a 50 per cent jump in yield.
Fungicides help farmers grow healthier, higher quality wheat crops to meet the food needs of the growing world population. Biotechnology may prove to be another beneficial tool in combating disease in wheat crops. In the future, biotech wheat varieties may be available that are resistant to various diseases. Advances in biotechnology may also lead to wheat that is tolerant against drought and salinity and new varieties that are biofortified to be edible by people with celiac disease.
Word count: 196
Articles are provided free of charge. Articles appearing on web sites, must credit www.newscanada.com. Articles appearing in Print, must credit News Canada with (NC) at beginning of an article or – News Canada at the end. Any source/sponsor of the information quoted in the text must also be identified as presented. Images are only to be used with corresponding editorial copy. Usage of News Canada articles constitutes your acceptance of these terms and an agreement between you and News Canada.